Villa Borghese (today’s Borghese Gallery Rome) was created to host a valuable collection of Cardinal Shipyon Borghese (Scipio Borghese), who was passionate about collecting works of art. He was distinguished with a truly subtle taste and unique intuition as a collector.
The idea of creating a country villa, as a place of joy and pleasure – Casa di Delizia, arose when its collection became numerous and famous in Rome and Europe. The villa’s construction began in 1613; it was headed by the renowned architect Flaminio Ponzio, and then by Giovanni Vazancio. Over the decoration and layout of the surrounding Villa Park worked Pietro Bernini, the father of the famous Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini.
Cardinal Borghese showed perseverance and ingenuity if he suddenly failed to acquire the exhibit he liked legally. By the end of his life, the collection had over 800 canvases and a collection of antique sculptures that were not equal in Rome. Of course, Shipyon Borghese wished his masterpiece to be preserved even after his death intact. Thus, a special commission for supervising the safety of the collection was appointed.
Gallery Borghese is a unique treasure trove of artistic and sculptural masterpieces of various epochs. It gives the visitors vivid, unique impressions and aesthetic pleasure. “The world theater, a collection of miracles and a charm for the human eye …” – that’s the way famous Italian writer Franceschi wrote about the villa and the collection of Borghese.
The collection is located on two floors and represents painting and sculpture separately. You can admire the paintings of many renowned masters of the Renaissance of different schools there. Let’s talk about the most vivid and significant of them.
Pintouccio (Bernardino di Betto di Biagio). Picture “ A crucifixion with holy Jerome and Christopher” (1475).
In the work of Pinturicchio, the artist of the Umbrian school, the brightness, colorfulness and even the decorative character of the painting is combined with increased realism. This work is the work of a true master.
2. Sandro Botticelli “Madonna with the Baby, John the Baptist, and Angels” (1488).
The enchanted world of art Sandro completes the dreams of Florence about himself at dusk quattrocento and on the brilliant eve of passionate days, the age of Michelangelo.
3. Raphael Santi “A Lady With a Unicorn.”
One of the most famous works of the great master. Working on the canvas, Raphael was influenced by the recently written Leonardo da Vinci, and many details of the picture are evident.
4. Titian Vecellio “Sacred and Profane Love”
A great artist of the Venetian Renaissance, Titian studied with Giorgione at Giovanni Bellini. In the early period of creativity, when this painting was written, he was influenced by both masters. Hence, the idyllic mood of the canvas, an indeterminate and complex plot.
5. Dosso Dossi “Wizard of the Circus, or Melissa.”
In the art of the famous artist is the combination of colorfulness, decoration of painting and lyricism, craving for magic. These features are clearly visible in this picture.
6. Correggio (Antonio Allegri) “Dana.”
Correggio created easy in spirit and playful in the embodiment works. The picture is based on the story of the ancient Greek myth about Danae. A fascinating, soft and fabulous-looking picture was bought in Paris , to make up for the damage caused by the Gallery.
It’s impossible to leave unnoticed the canvases of the great master Caravaggio, which influenced the entire European painting. The gallery Borghese stores six of his works. All of them relate to different periods of artist’s work and bear the bright impression of his life, as it is, with her sufferings, the weakness of the person and his attempts to save himself. The real drama is unfolded on his canvases:
-Caravaggio “A young man with a basket of fruits.”
The painter started out with paintings, marked with a bright color and lyrical mood.
-Caravaggio “Sick Bacchus.”
The first signs of drama, which marked the mature painting of the artist, were manifested in this work. He was joking over the terrestrial nature of man; he tried to raise a little above it.
-Caravaggio “St. Jerome”
The profound semantic context of work makes us seriously think about the eternal truths, the victory of the human spirit over the flesh, and the path that should be passed from the life of the simple mortal to the heights of it.
-Caravaggio “David with the Head of Goliath.”
The last work of the master and the feeling of bitter sadness that comes from his painting.
Undoubtedly, the best works of the genius master Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who managed to breathe life into marble, are sculptural compositions “Abduction of Proserpina” and “Apollo and Daphne”:
-Jan Lorenzo Bernini “Proserpine abduction.”
The art of the Baroque tended to depict tense moments, and this myth made it possible to express the drama of an unequal struggle at the time of the abduction of the goddess Prozerpin’s fertility by the god of the underground kingdom of Pluto.
-Jan Lorenzo Bernini “Apollo and Daphne.”
The work is devoted to chase and fight, illustrates the myth of the beloved god Apollon, about Nymph Daphne and about that sad ending that awaits everyone who is entertaining, pursuing slippery forms: in the end, he discovers only dried leaves and bitter fruits in his hand. This kind of timeless morality has given this myth to pope Roman Urban VIII Barberini.
The abundance of exhibits of the gallery is not limited to the above treasures. Among other masterpieces, a separate collection is the busts of Cardinal Spyon Borghese – the memory of the founder of the gallery justly deserves this honor.