Facts about Borghese Gallery

By Aniket

What happens when a wealthy Cardinal and ardent art collector becomes the patron of some of history’s most famous artists?

Cardinal Scipione Borghese needed a place to store all his artwork, so he constructed a villa.

The Borghese Gallery has amazing artworks by famous artists such as Caravaggio, Bernini, Raphael, and Titian.

It is an extravagant villa transformed into one of Rome’s most famous art galleries.

Here, you will look at some fascinating facts about Borghese Gallery.

The construction of the Borghese Gallery Building started in the early 17th century. 

The Galleria Borghese is one of Rome’s renowned art galleries.

It was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese (1577-1633) as a large country house on the outskirts of Rome.

He became very wealthy as the Pope’s private secretary by collecting taxes for the Pope.

He built a fancy estate with this money and supported some of history’s most famous artists.

These include Caravaggio (1571-1610) and the young Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680).

Borghese Gallery is located Within Rome’s Third-Largest Public Park.

Borghese Gallery location
Image: Youtube.com/@RobbertKleinLangenhorst

The Borghese Gallery, located in the Villa Borghese Gardens, spans 80 hectares (198 acres). 

The Garden is on “Pincian Hill,” northeast of the city’s historical center. 

The Spanish Steps, Rome’s most famous staircase, are also accessible from one side of the park, in the southwest corner!

Borghese Gallery began as the Cardinal’s Personal Collection.

Cardinal Scipione Borghese hired top artists and bought art from across Europe.

This started the Borghese Collection and some other buildings in the area.

Various works were added centuries after Scipione Borghese’s death.

These include a collection of Olimpia Aldobrandini, Cardinal Salviati, and Lucretia d’Este in 1682.

In the 18th Century, the Borghese Gardens were Transformed into English Gardens.

Borghese Gallery Transformation
Image: scrisman

The Borghese Gardens were transformed into an English-landscaped garden. 

This style of garden supplanted the formal style garden, which was popular in France and the rest of Europe during the 17th century.

It includes lakes, mowed lawns, and tree groves to present an idealized version of nature.

They added the “Temple of Aesculapius” during this time, completing it between 1785 and 1792.

The Louvre Museum took two of the gallery’s treasures from Rome.

Once held at the Borghese Gallery, two of the most famous Roman masterpieces have been relocated to the Louvre in Paris.

Villa Borghese had been the proud owner of Roman statues, including the Sleeping Hermaphrodite and the Borghese Gladiator, since the 1620s.

But, these well-known Roman treasures were purchased by the Emperor in 1808 and moved to the Louvre Museum. 

The Borghese Museum was founded in the early twentieth century. 

Borghese Museum founded in 18th century
Image: Backyard Productions

The Borghese family expanded the Borghese Villa several times over the centuries.

The Italian government purchased the estate in 1902.

A year later, officials designated the park as a public park and established the Galleria Borghese Museum.

Every year, an estimated 500,000 people visit the museum to admire the famous works of art on display.

Once you’ve absorbed the fascinating facts about the Borghese Gallery, we suggest exploring the ticket options of the Borghese Gallery to make the most of your visit.

The Borghese Gallery’s 20 rooms house a diverse collection of fine art. 

Borghese Gallerys 20 rooms
Image: Tiqets.com

The museum has 20 rooms on two floors and displays many artworks. The first floor has classical works of art created during antiquity. 

The Neoclassical works are also on display. These include the Venus Victrix and works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The second-floor houses some of the world’s most famous paintings by history’s most renowned artists.

Some examples are:

  • Raphael’s Deposition (1507)
  • Titian’s (1514) Sacred and Profane Love
  • Paolo Veronese’s St John the Baptist (1562)
  • Caravaggio’s Saint Jerome Writing (1606)
  • Peter Paul Rubens’ Susanna and the Elders (1608)

The main room’s ceiling is an amazing attraction. 

The main floor contains a main room known as the “Salone.” 

Mariano Rossi, a Sicilian artist, decorated the ceiling of this room with a fantastic fresco painting known as a “trompe-l’oeil.”

The painting gives the room’s ceiling an almost three-dimensional effect.

This magnificent fresco depicts “Marcus Furius Camillus Fighting Brennus and his Gauls, while Romulus Entreats Jupiter to Help Rome.”

There are two busts of Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the Borghese Gallery. 

Cardinal Scipione Borghese
Image: Tiqets.com

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, an Italian artist, created two marble portrait sculptures of Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1632. 

The quarter-length busts depict Scipione Borghese dressed appropriately for his role as a cardinal of the Roman Church – with robes and biretta.

Bernini became the prominent architect of St. Peter’s Basilica, designed St. Peter’s Square, and left his indelible mark on the city of Rome.