Monday, October 12, 2020

The Breathtaking Galleria Borghese

David by Bernini

 Every place is endowed with beauty that makes it unique. While flipping through some old collection of photographs I stumbled upon my visit to  Galleria Borghese in Rome three years back. Italy is a unique country that has more than its share of natural beauty, treats of food and desserts, art and so much more. It would not be incorrect to state that ' God has been overly kind to Italians to bless them with bounties that a few can compare'. Every city and corner resonates with a unique collection of art where one can spend hours without realizing how the time has flown. 

Danae by Correggio
Galleria Borghese is housed in a villa with very beautiful gardens which are a separate tourist attraction. It has a huge private collection of art and paintings begun by Cardinal Borghese who was a nephew of Pope Paul V ( who reigned from 1605-1621). The design sketches of this regal vista were sketched by Borghese himself and brought to life by an architect Flaminio Ponzio on the outskirts of Rome. The striking beauty and the grandeur of the place are very striking. The entire property was sold off to the Italian government in 1902 and has been preserved well. The entry to this place has a steep ticket and needs to be booked in advance with an entry restricted for just one hour to see the place, such is the rush!

The galleria has 20 rooms spread over two floors that house some of the rarest visual treats created by the likes of Bernini, Caravaggio, Canova and Raphael.The classic  portrayal of baroque sculpture and collections is jaw dropping. Gian Lorenzo Bernini  the most renknowned sculptor is what Shakespeare is to literature. His most important creations can be found here in this gallery besides in Florence,  The Vatican and museums spread as far as  New York, Los Angeles. Among the most important works on the display are 'Aeneas,Anchises, and Ascanius'. The Rape of Prosperina', 'Apollo and Daphne' and 'David'. According to Rudolf Wittkover an eminent art historian, these creations ushered in a new era in the European sculpture.

Aeneas, Anchises and Ascanius by Bernini

Aeneas,Anchises, and Ascanius depicts a group showing three generations of Aeneas family. The young man holding the older man on his shoulder is Aeneas, who is gazing down with strong determination.

The Rape of Prosperina by Berninby Bernini

The Rape of Prosperina on the other hand depicts the abduction of Prosperina by the god Pluto to the underworld. Bernini had achieved via carving in marble the soft texture of the skin, the flying robes of hair and the tears in eyes of Prosperina, flawlessly. This was created when Bernini was just 23 year old.

Apollo and Daphane by Bernini

The other creations of Bernini like David and Apollo and Daphne have amazing stories behind these creations

Pauline Bonaparte by Canova

Pauline Bonaparte the sister of legendary Napolean Bonaparte and her unmatched beauty also finds place here as a creation of Antonio Canova.

Madonna and Child by Bellini

Among other major works of art that feature in this museum are 'St John the Baptist'  and 'Madonna, child and the serpent' both by Carvaggio,'The Last Supper'by Bassano and creations of Bellini and Ruebens.

Sussana and the elders by Peter Paul Reubens

There are such beautiful pieces of art and the same have been kept in places especially created to enhance their beauty. Suffice to say the collections is able to leave a feeling of 'asking for more' and the time runs out. The added attractions to the museum are the beautiful gardens and 'The Gallery of Modern Art which are adjacent to this gallery. Do not forget to add this lovely gallery to your itinerary if you are visiting Rome

PS- All pics are mine


  1. These are absolutely a treat to watch and couldn't turn anyone to stand-in awe watching these masterpieces of art, sculptures, and paintings! Remarkable visit and photos Rahul.

    1. Agree with what you wrote Jeevan! Thanks for your kind words.

  2. Beautifully captured in pictures and words.