The Galleria Borghese is one of a number of interesting museums in the Villa Borghese, which also has the Etruscan Museum and the Modern Art Museum within its grounds. The museum is especially famous for its permanent collection, but every so often also organizes prestigious temporary exhibitions.
Galleria Borghese Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Addres: Piazza del Museo Borghese 5 – Rome. Tel.: 39 06 8413979. Public transport: Bus: 910. Opening hours: From 09.00 until 19.00 hours. Closed: Mondays, Januari 1, December 25. To enter the Galleria Borghese it is obligatory to reserve in advance (at least 1 day before the requested date), which can be done by phone (+39 0632810) or, at least in theory, via the Internet. No more than 360 visitors are allowed inside per 2-hour time slot. The 2 Euro booking fee is not included in the admission price. The reservation is for a specific time, but you need to arrive 30 minute early to pick up your ticket. Admission: 13 Euros; EU citizens between 18 and 25 pay 6,50 Euros; free for anybody younger than 18. Note that it is not allowed to take pictures inside the museum.
Galleria Borghese Rome
Located on the north-eastern edge of the park, it was originally built as a private residence for the Borghese family. Scipione‘s collection of pictures was moved here in 1615, to be followed by two hundred ancient sculptures in 1625.
The Borghese Gallery consists of two floors, the first one of which being almost entirely devoted to sculpture. There are several works by Bernini, including his David, Apollo and Daphne and the Rape of Persephone. Antonio Canova is also well represented on this floor.
The other floor is completely devoted to painting and shows works by artists such as Titian (“Sacred and Profane Love”), Rubens, Caravaggio and Raphael (“Jerome”).
The Galleria Borghese was founded by Scipione Borghese, who, when he died (1633), left a great art collection behind. Some of these works were taken from the Vatican itself, while other masterpieces were added to the collection when their former owners decided that they preferred freedom over captivity, Scipione being the nephew of the rather influential Pope Paul V.
At the end of the 17th century Olimpia Aldobrandini left her collection to the museum.
A large part of the collection was sold in the early 19th century. It was the wife of Prince Camillo Borghese, Pauline Bonaparte who was forced by her brother to give many archaeological masterpieces to the Louvre in Paris. Pauline also posed as a nude model for one of the most popular works in the museum, Canova‘s life-size Venus Victorious.
In 1902 both the building itself and the art collection were bought by the state.
Having been closed for years because of extensive restoration works, the Galleria Borghese was reopened to the public in 1997. The facade had been repainted its original white marble colour and the external staircase has also been restored.