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Some of Rome's Galleries, Architects,

Artists and Artworks




Villa Borghese    Palazzo Barberini    Vatican Galleries    Art in Rome's Churches    Galleria Doria Pamphilj



Links to Rome Fountains and Piazzas      Links to Rome Churches      Links to Rome Palaces      Ancient Rome




Guides and Books about Rome      Rome Restaurants and Hotels





Villa Borghese


Rome's premier gallery for Renaissance, Baroque and later art is in the Villa Borghese, weekender for the Borghese family (believe me - the whole building would fit into part of one of the wings of the family's massive dark Palazzo in town).  Below are just four of the wide range of artists and sculptors represented ..... from top left clockwise ..... Canova sculpts Paolina Borghese (nee Napoleon's sister, who would get her gear of at the slightest artistic or other excuse) circa 1805, Perugino's beautiful model reappears as the Madonna con Bambino, Rafaello (middle) paints a man (possibly Pinturrichio whom he helped out on the earlier stages of the Piccolomini Library frescos) and a woman (with unicorn), Carpaccio makes a rare contribution outside Venice with Cortigiana, and Rome's very own Caravaggio contributes a luminously restored San Girolamo (Jerome).







Canova - Paolina Borghese (Napoleon's sister)




Perugino - Madonna con Bambino




Rafaello - Portrait of ?Pinturrichio




Rafaello - The Woman with the Unicorn




Caravaggio - San Girolamo (Jerome)




Carpaccio - Cortigiana




Some Major Renaissance Artists and Architects who Worked in Rome


Fra Angelico (Beato Angelico, Dominican) (Florence)

1395 - 1455 (60)

Bramante (Donato di Pascussio d'Antonio) (Urbino & Milan)

1444 - 1514 (70)

Perugino (Pietro Vannucci) (Perugia)

1450 - 1523 (73)

Bernardo il Pinturicchio (Umbria & Florence)

c1452 - 1513 (61)

Michelangelo (Florence)

1475 - 1564 (89)

Rafaello (Raphael) (Urbino)

1483 - 1520 (37)

Antonio da Sangallo

1483 - 1546 (63)

Annibale Carracci

1560 - 1609 (49)


1573 - 1610 (37)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini

1598 - 1680 (82)

Francesco Borromini

1599 - 1667 (68)


Artists of the Italian Renaissance     Paintings by Artists of the Italian Renaissance









Rafaello - Portrait of a Woman (La Fornarina) - Palazzo Barberini (not in 2005)




Rafaello - Portrait of a Woman (La Donna Velata) - Pitti Palace, Florence



Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini



By comparison, the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini relies heavily on just one painting, Raphael's portrait of his mistress "La Fornarina", in its promotion and red banner signage - no hint until you ascended the many stairs in May 2005 and paid to get in, that the lady was actually in St Louis or somewhere equally improbable.  La F can also be found, softer nose and eyed (and clothed - above right), in the Galleria Palatina in Florence's Pitti Palace. 


Back in the Barberini, we just had to make do with one of Hans Holbein's portraits of Enrico VIII - a pretty grizzly second best (though this one is at least a decent size) whatever your opinion of the cold look on the face of the baker's daughter.  As compensation, we went later to the restaurant in La Fornarina's back garden in Trastevere for a hearty plate of Roman oxtail.




Hans Holbein - Enrico VIII (Postcard Photo)



Vatican Galleries


The other big Rome gallery attraction is the Vatican Galleries, which even with an early start and outside the main season, is a thoroughly uncomfortable crowded experience, with the Sistine chapel resembling a Tokyo subway station in the rush hour (complete with a little Japanese man letting off a forbidden flashgun in Dom Paradox's face - "velly solly"). 


Still, it was important for us to see, just once, Raphael's "School of Athens" in the Stanza della Segnatura. 


On the left (in green) is Averroës (Ibn Rushd (1126 - 1198 (72)), the Cordoban scholar, who was one of the most important medieval commentators on Aristotle and the harmonisation of Aristotelian philosophy with the teachings of the Quran.




On the right of the right are crowd members Raphael and Sodoma (probably) interacting with Ptolomy (mapper, with globe map for easy identification from the back), and Zoroaster (pre monotheistic prophet aka Zarathustra). 


Link to Vatican Museums Online




Raphael's "School of Athens" in the Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican






Michelangelo - Pieta - Basilica San Pietro in Vaticano, Roma




Art in Rome's Churches


Link to Paradoxplace Rome churches pages


Much of the best art is to be found in the churches of Rome.  Above - Michelangelo's sublimely sad Pieta, completed for the Holy Year of 1500 and  in the Vatican Basilica of Saint Peter,  Bernini's orgasmically Blessed Ludovica Albertoni in San Francesco a Ripa in Trastevere (sister sculpture to the more famous Ecstasy of Santa Terese in Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria), "Santa Cecilia" by Stefano Mademo (1599) in the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, and Caravaggio's Madonna of the Pilgrims in Sant'Agostino.  Other "Caravaggio churches" are Santa Maria del Popolo and most famously San Luigi dei Francesi near the Piazza Navona.




Bernini - Blessed Ludovica Albertoni in San Francesco a Ripa in Trastevere

a much better proposition than Therese




Bernini - Ecstasy of Santa Terese in Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria




Santa Cecilia" by Stefano Mademo (1599)

in the church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere




Caravaggio - Madonna of the Pilgrims, Sant'Agostino, Rome






Galleria Doria Pamphilj


The Galleria Doria Pamphilj, close to the Pantheon, is the town palazzo of an old Roman family who included Pope Innocent X (who managed, surprise surprise, to boost the family fortunes considerably).   The many paintings are hung in the old reception rooms of the Palazzo, which has been painstakingly restored and looked after.  The painting collection itself is better than the Barberini one, and hardly anyone goes there.  Thoroughly recommended - also note that the audio tour recorded by a member of the family is unusually interesting.  And enjoy every step on the beeswax hand polished for centuries old wood floorboards



Postcard Photo



Family man Pope Innocent X (Giovanni Pamphili, 1574 - 1644 - 1655 (81)) by Valazquez (left) and by Bernini (right)



Postcard Photo



Postcard Photo


P P Rubens (attrib) - Franciscan Friar


Cristofo dell'Altissimo - (copy of a portrait of) Niccolò Machiavelli

Link to other portraits of Machiavelli


Hall of Mirrors, Galleria Doria Pamphilj (postcard photo)


guide book photo


Bust of Constanzia Bonarelli (1632) - passion of Bernini's life - an image so full of personal angst that it was difficult to exhibit here in the sculptor's home town - you can find her in the Bargello, Florence.


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