Borghese Gallery Rome
Casino Borghese was built by wishes of cardinal
Scipione Borghese Caffarelli by the architects Giovanni
Vasanzio and Flaminio Ponzio. The authors of the age often
admiration the richness of the villa and also the remarkable
collection of statues and paintings housed in the building.
The artistic collection of the original villa was increased
and enriched, through the years, mostly in the beginning of
the XIX cent. when the Duca Marcantonio Borghese began
excavations in the territories possession of the family, during
which numerous ancient statues were found. In addition to this
many princes and nobles, who wished to contribute to the fame
of the collection, offered important works of art. Although,
in the beginning of the XIX cent., the collection suffered
a considerable loss because of the wedding that occurred in
between the Duca Camillo Borghese and Napoleon’s
sister, Paolina Bonaparte, woman of renowned beauty.
In this occasion the Emperor persuaded his brother-in-law to “offer” some
pieces to the Louvre of Paris.
The workpiece of the Rape of Proserpina is also
a creation of young Bernini. In these two figures,
beyond the movement of the terrified young virgin, the technical
elaboration of the marble is extraordinary: the hand, that tightens
the thigh, touches warm and soft flesh of woman. Under the marble
surface one almost feels the pulsation of the blood and any single
vibration of the nerves in the expression of fear. This same reality
and pulsing life characterizes also the group of “Apollo
and Daphne” in which the artist depicts the very moment
in which the beautiful Daphne, pursued by God Apollo, is turned into
a laurel tree. We see the process of the sudden transformation, bark
covers most of her body and on her hands, raised up, the branches
of laurel wave already. The are no traces of this restless world
in the works of Canova, who lived a century later.
The leaning figure of the “Venus Victrix” represents
beautiful duchess Borghese and reveals the infuence of Neoclassic
style. This new style aimed at freeing art from the restless and
exaggerated movement of the baroque, in order to return to the tranquillity
and stillness of Ancient times. Therefore Canova represents in Paolina,
a cold and more than precise beauty.
On the first floor are housed also works by Caravaggio as the “Madonna
of the Palafrenieri”, in which he paints real persons in ancient history. David
with the head of Golia, painted in 1610, year of Caravaggio’s death,
that prophetically represents himself in the features of the giant’s head. Bacchino
Malato (Young Bacchus ill), is again a self-portrait rich in ominous
symbolisms. St. Jerome, wrapped in a bright red cloak, strangely familiar with
the cardinal’s purple, a clear homage to cardinal Scipione Borghese.
The picture gallery is extremely important because here the different schools
of the Renaissance and the Italian and foreign Baroque are represented with excellent
works. Among the great pieces the ”Deposition of Christ” by Raphael executed
in 1507. Commissioned by princess Atalanta Baglioni, in memory
of her prematurely
dead son. Another excellent work is the “Danae” by Correggio,
master of Parma
in the years between 1530-32, “Sacred and Profane Love” by Titian, one of the most precious paintings in the world, that
the Venetian artist
painted when he was young.
the Borghese Gallery with the itineraries
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