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Borghese Gallery private tour
3h tour with private guide from 1 to 5 pax Eur 50/h
Gallery Borghese tour
Tour with private guide Gallery Borghese – Rome
Among the various museums located in the Villa Borghese complex, the most important is undoubtedly Galleria Borghese, situated in the Casino nobile (lodge) of the 17th century villa built for cardinal Scipione, where the important collection of painting and sculpture gathered during the 17th century, later integrated by acquisitions of the 18th and 19th centuries, is exhibited. Today the itinerary through the gallery includes eight rooms on the ground ﬂoor as well as the great entrance hall and the chapel, with statues in the center of the rooms, surrounded by the paintings on the walls and the decorations of the ceilings, which conStituted the thematic thread of the 18th century layout as well. In the entrance hall late Roman Statues line the walls, while the Roman statue of Marco Curzio, restored by Pietro Bernini, occupies the back wall. Canova’s Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Vic’trix may be admired in the hall known as del Vaso (of the vase).
The room of the Sun (dd Sole) houses painting and sculpture such as Bernini’s David, a painting by BattiStello, and two controversial Still-lifes, attributed to Caravaggio by Zeri. Six of the twelve paintings by Caravaggio owned by Scipione hand in the room of Silenus (del Silena). The upper storey of the gallery, with thirteen additional rooms, focuses principally on paintings, exhibited in chronological order and by schools. Thus it is possible to retrace the principal phases of Italian and Flemish painting between the ﬁfteenth and 18th centuries, including many absolute masterpieces (Antonello da Messina, Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Guido Reni, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Rubens, Pietro da Cortona). In addition to Galleria Borghese, the villa also houses the refined Cam Museo (home museum) of the sculptor Pietro Canonica, in the 17th century construction by Gallinaro, known as the Fortezzuola (little fort) after it was transformed to a medieval style by the Asprucci’s in 1793. The Museo Carlo Bi/otti, opened q ite recently. is housed in the ex-Orangerie of the villa. known as Casino dei Giocbi d’Acqua (Fountains) during the 18th century. These rooms house the collection donated by the museums namesake, an halo-American entrepreneur and internationally known collector, including at numerous nucleus of paintings and sculptures by Giorgio de Chirico, Andy Warhol, Gino Severini and Giacomo Manzu.
TITIAN, SACRED AND PROFANE LOVE
GALLERIA BORGHESE TOUR WITH PRIVATE GUIDE
The work was painted by Titian in 1514, when he was 25 years old, for the wedding between Nicolo Aurelio, the Venetian Secretary of the Council of Ten, whose coat of arms is represented on the sarcophagus and Laura Bagamtto. daughter of the judge, from Padova. A fountain decorated with has relief like an antique sarcophagus fills the long side of the canvas, dividing the painting into two parts. Another caesura is caused by the branches behind the cherub who is Stirring the water with his arm. T he background is also unusual: on one side there is a church and a ﬂock of sheep, and on the other a fortiﬁed city and two rabbits, symbols of love and fertility. Critics have long discussed the marked contrasr between the two female ﬁgures seated on the edge of the fountain, a contrast which had an illustrious precedent. In Fact Pliny recounts that the Greek sculptor Praxiteles had made two sublime Statues of Venus, one clothed and one without clothes. The two equally perfect women symbolise on the one hand «brief earthly happiness», with the attribute of the pct of jewels, and the other «eternal heavenly happiness», holding the burning flame of God’s love in her hand. The dressed Venus should therefore probably be interpreted as the pure bride who, close to Love, is assisted by the goddess Aphrodite in person. The gesture of the cherub stirring the water, source of life, in a sarcophagus. therefore probably represents love as intermediary between heaven and earth. The title is the result of a late 18th century interpretation based on a moralistic reading of the clothed ﬁgure. The universal fame of Titian’s work was conﬁrmed in 1899, when Rothschilds the bankers offered a greater price For this painting than the estimated worth of the whole ofVilla Borghese including the works of art.
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CARAVAGGIO, DAVID WITH THE HEAD OF GOLIATH
GALLERIA BORGHESE INDIVIDUAL TOUR
A three-quarters view of David is presented, emerging From behind a dark curtain, sword in hand and proudly intent on observing the head of Goliath, still bleeding after the decapitation.
Although the head of the giant is already severed, it is Still strongly expressive. The emotive sensitivity expressed on the wrinkled Forehead. in the mouth opened in the ﬁnal breath, and in the intense, suffering glance of Goliath, is also felt in the ﬂesh of the torso and the expression on the face of David. The brown trousers and torn shirt which he is wearing contain passages of great pictorial synthesis, involving the use of long, separate brushstrokes and the juxtaposition, in the case of the shirt, of pure whites and greys, in a subtle play of transparency. Caravaggio used his own self-portrait for the head of Goliath, while in the David the features of his «little Caravaggio» are reproduced. A recent hypothesis suggests that the David is a youthful portrait of the artist, which would make the painting a double self—portrait. With conﬂicring feelings of disgust and pity, with one hand David brandishes his sword, on whose blade are letters which are not easy to decipher, but which may form the morto «Humilitas Occidit Superbiam»; the biblical hero is in fact a model of virtue. If one accepts the hypothesis that Scipione Borghese had commissioned Caravaggio for the work, it probably belongs to the last Roman period and would therefore be from before 1606. However, some scholars attribute the simpliﬁcation of forms, the essential quality of the composition and the rapid application of brushstrokes to a later period. In this case the painting may be interpreted as a gift, sent by the attiSt to Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the expecration of being granted grace, as the lasr attempt at drawing attention to the desperation of his circumstances and his wish to return to Rome.
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In 1605, Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V and patron of Bernini, began turning this former vineyard into the most extensive gardens built in Rome since Antiquity. The vineyard’s site is identified with the gardens of Lucullus, the most famous in the late Roman republic. In the 19th century much of the garden’s former formality was remade as a landscape garden in the English taste (illustration, right). The Villa Borghese gardens were long informally open, but were bought by the commune of Rome and given to the public in 1903. The large landscape park in the English taste contains several villas. The Spanish Steps lead up to this park, and there is another entrance at the Porte del Popolo by Piazza del Popolo. The Pincio (the Pincian Hill of ancient Rome), in the south part of the park, offers one of the greatest views over Rome.
A balustrade (dating from the early seventeenth century) from the gardens, was taken to England in the late 19th century, and installed in the grounds of Cliveden House, a mansion in Buckinghamshire, in 1896. The Piazza di Siena, located in the villa, hosted the equestrian dressage, individual jumping, and the jumping part of the eventing competition for the 1960 Summer Olympics. In 2004, a species of Italian snail was discovered, still living on the balustrade after more than 100 years in England.
Today the Galleria Borghese is housed in the Villa Borghese itself. The garden Casino Borghese, built on a rise above the Villa by the architect Giovanni Vasanzio, was set up by Camillo Borghese to contain sculptures by Bernini from the Borghese collection, including his David and his Daphne, and paintings by Titian, Raphael and Caravaggio.
The Villa Giulia adjoining the Villa Borghese gardens was built in 1551 – 1555 as a summer residence for Pope Julius III; now it contains the Etruscan Museum (Museo Etrusco).
The Villa Medici houses the French Academy in Rome, and the Fortezzuola a Gothic garden structure that houses a collection memorializing the academic modern sculptor Pietro Canonica. In the 1650s, Diego Velázquez painted several depictions of this Villa’s garden casino festively illuminated at night. Before electricity, such torchlit illuminations carried an excitement hard to conceive today.
Other villas scattered through the Villa Borghese gardens are remains of a world exposition in Rome in 1911.
The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna located in its grounds has a collection of 19th- and 20th-century paintings emphasizing Italian artists.
Architecturally the most notable of the 1911 exposition pavilions is the English pavilion designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens (who later designed New Delhi), now housing the British School at Rome.
The villa’s gardens feature in one of Respighi’s Pini di Roma
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