Borghese Gallery - Dream Station

Galleria Borghese

 Galleria borghese
Borghese Gallery
Galleria Borghese
LocationVilla BorgheseRomeItaly
DirectorAnna Coliva

The Borghese Gallery (Italian: Galleria Borghese) is an art gallery in Rome, Italy, housed in the former Villa Borghese Pinciana. It is 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 paintingssculpture 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 FruitSt. JeromeSick Bacchus and others. Other paintings of note includeTitian‘s Sacred and Profane Love, Raphael’s Entombment of Christ and works by Peter Paul Rubens and Federico Barocci.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Collection
    • 2.1 Gian Lorenzo Bernini at the Borghese
    • 2.2 The National Museum of Musical Instruments
  • 3 Nearby museums
  • 4 Collection Highlights
    • 4.1 Sculptures
    • 4.2 Paintings
  • 5 External links
  • 6 Notes


The Casina Borghese lies on the outskirts of seventeenth-century Rome. By 1644, John Evelyn described it as “an Elysium of delight” with “Fountains of sundry inventions, Groves and small Rivulets of Water”. Evelyn also described the Vivarium that housed ostriches, peacocks, swans and cranes “and divers strange Beasts”. Prince Marcantonio IV Borghese (1730–1800), who began the recasting of the park’s formal garden architecture into an English landscape garden, also set out about 1775, under the guidance of the architect Antonio Asprucci, to replace the now-outdated tapestry and leather hangings and renovate the Casina, restaging the Borghese sculptures and antiquities in a thematic new ordering that celebrated the Borghese position in Rome. The rehabilitation of the much-visited villa as a genuinely public museum in the late eighteenth century was the subject of an exhibition at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, in 2000,[1] spurred by the Getty’s acquisition of fifty-four drawings related to the project.

In 1808, Prince Camillo Borghese, Napoleon’s brother-in-law,[2] was forced to sell the Borghese Roman sculptures and antiquities to the Emperor. The result is that the Borghese Gladiator, renowned since the 1620s as the most admired single sculpture in Villa Borghese, must now be appreciated in the Musée du Louvre. The “Borghese Hermaphroditus” is also now in the Louvre.

The Borghese villa was modified and extended down the years, eventually being sold to the Italian government in 1902, along with the entire Borghese estate and surrounding gardens and parkland.


Sacred and Profane Love by Titian. c. 1514 Borghese Gallery

Sacred and Profane Love by Titian. c. 1514

Venus and Cupid by Lucas Cranach The Elder. c. 1531. Borghese Gallery

Venus and Cupid by Lucas Cranach The Elder. c. 1531

The Galleria Borghese includes twenty rooms across two floors.

The main floor is mostly devoted to classical antiquities of the 1st–3rd centuries AD (including a famous 320-30 AD mosaic of gladiators found on the Borghese estate atTorrenova, on the Via Casilina outside Rome, in 1834), and classical and neo-classical sculpture such as the Venus Victrix. Its decorative scheme includes a trompe l’oeil ceiling fresco in the first room, or Salone, by the Sicilian artist Mariano Rossi makes such good use of foreshortening that it appears almost three-dimensional.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini at the Borghese[edit source | editbeta]

Many of the sculptures are displayed in the spaces they were intended for, including many works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, which comprise a large percent of his lifetime output of secular sculpture, starting with a juvenile, but talented, work such as the Goat Amalthea with Infant Jupiter and Faun (1615)[3] to his dynamic Apollo and Daphne (1622–25)[4] and David (1623) [5] considered seminal works of baroque sculpture. In addition, three busts by this sculptor are in the gallery, two of Pope Paul V(1618–20) and an insightful portrait of his first patron, Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1632).[6] Finally it has some early, somewhat mannerist works such as Aeneas, Anchises & Ascanius (1618–19) [7] and the Rape of Proserpine (1621–22).[8]

The National Museum of Musical Instruments

This collection is made up of instruments from not only western cultures but also instruments from ancient cultures (such as EgyptianGreek, and Roman) and instruments from AmericaAfrica, and Oceania. The bulk of the collection was donated by operasinger Evan Gorga and it is the largest collection ever given to the museum.[9][10]

Nearby museums

Also in Villa Borghese gardens or nearby are the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, which specialises in 19th- and 20th-century Italian art, and Museo Nazionale Etrusco, a collection of pre-Roman objects, mostly Etruscan, excavated around Rome.

Collection Highlights


    • Truth Unveiled by Time by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. c. 1645-1652


    • David Bernini 1623.jpg

      David by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. c. 1623



    • Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. c. 1622. Borghese Gallery

      Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. c. 1622


  • Rape of Proserpina by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. c. 1621. Borghese Gallery

    Rape of Proserpina by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. c. 1621



    • Saint Jerome by Caravaggio. c. 1606


    • Deposition by Raphael. c. 1507



    • St. John the Baptist by Caravaggio. c. 1610


    • Madonna, Child and Serpent by Caravaggio. c. 1605-1606


    • Danae by Correggio. c. 1530


    • Boy with a Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio. c. 1593



    • The Scourging of Christ by Titian. c. 1560




    • Deposition by Peter Paul Rubens. c. 1602


    • The Concert by Gerrit van Honthorst. c. 1626-1630



    • Mourning of the Dead Christ by Ortolano. c. 1522


    • Venus Blindfolding Cupid byTitian. c. 1565


    • Lady with a Unicorn by Raphael. c. 1505



    • St. Dominic by Titian. c. 1565






    • Bacchus by Caravaggio. c. 1593


    • Self Portrait by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. c. 1623


    • David with Goliath’s Head by Caravaggio. c. 1609




  • Portrait of a Young Man by Raphael. c. 1502

Official website (English)
External links