Friday, October 4, 2013


When I was in Rome exactly four years ago, I intended to revisit the Villa Borghese. Unfortunately I didn't have an advance registration and would have had to wait a week. So my advice to you is to book online well in advance of going to Rome. It really is an extraordinary gallery and villa. I'm glad I had the opportunity to see it in 2003. Three years ago I had to be content with spending time in the gardens.

The Borghese Gallery (Italian: Galleria Borghese) in Rome is an art gallery housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana, a building that was from the first integral with its gardens, nowadays considered quite separately by tourists as the Villa Borghese gardens. The Galleria Borghese houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V (reign 1605–1621). The Villa was built by the architect Flaminio Ponzio, developing sketches by Scipione Borghese himself, who used it as a villa suburbana, a party villa at the edge of Rome.

Scipione Borghese was an early patron of Bernini and an avid collector of works by Caravaggio, who is well represented in the collection by his Boy with a Basket of Fruit, St. Jerome, Sick Bacchus and others. Other paintings of note include Titian's Sacred and Profane Love, Raphael's Entombment of Christ and works by Peter Paul Rubens and Federico Barocci.

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Titian in the Frari (Venezia)