Borghese Gallery in Rome
Villa Pinciana, destined to the gallery, was wanted by Cardinal Scipione Borghese
, nephew of Pope Paul V, and built into beautiful forms by the architect Flaminio Ponzio
early seventeenth century.
The intention was to make it a place of art, music, study and culture, and especially for the exhibition of objects and specimens not only of ancient and modern art, of which the cardinal was a passionate collector, but also of nature, with rare plants, animals and fossils, and even of contemporary technology, with various inventions, gear and watches.
Many works were assigned to the cardinal nephew
by the Pope, including confiscations and even robberies, such as the famous Deposition
by Raphael, originally in the church of St. Francesco in Perugia.
In 1807 the collection was broken by Camillo Borghese who sold to Napoleon a large quantity of objects, which are today in the Borghese Collection
Subsequently, however, these gaps were filled by new finds from recent excavations and further works recovered from other aristocratic houses.
In 1827 also, was purchased in Paris the famous Correggio's Danae
Today the Gallery preserves sculptures, reliefs and ancient mosaics, and an extraordinary collection of paintings and sculptures from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century.
The collection boasts works by Antonello da Messina, Giovanni Bellini, Pinturicchio, Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Correggio, Caravaggio, Lotto, Rubens, and some famous sculptures by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, including the amazing group of Apollo and Daphne
, and Antonio Canova, with the famous Portrait of Pauline Bonaparte Borghese
, executed between 1805 and 1808.