Posted by: Author | July 29, 2011

Friday Facts- July 29, 2011- Villa Borghese Galleria

The Villa Borghese was built by the Cardinal Borghese to show off his art collection. It is a spectacular building. The interiors will take your breath away. The ceilings are all painted and look almost three-dimensional. The sad thing is that they take away your camera when you go in and even the books on sale there don’t have full color photos of these ceilings. I wish like heck that I could share these with you. I’ll carry them in my mind’s eye forever but am sad that I can’t share them.

One of my favorite things there is a sculpture called The Rape of Persephone by Bernini. It is exquisite. The marble is carved to look like Pluto is holding Persephone and you can even see the indentations of his fingers on the skin of her thigh. She has a look of anguish on her face and a little tear escapes from her eye.  Pluto’s muscles are well-defined and the dog, Cerberus, is magnificent. His fur looks real. I was amazed at the craftmanship of this piece and the man was only 23 when he did it- there are other Bernini statues there as well. One he did when he was eleven. It was awe inspiring- two babies milking a goat. And he was only eleven!

If you ever get to Rome, this is a not to be missed gallery. Truly.


  1. I really hated my art appreciation class in college, but the one thing I loved was scupltures. I guess because the only art medium I was really interested in was ceramics.

    Bernini was one of my favorites for how real his work appeared. I’m not into abstract art at all, so his work among others of his time really gets me. And to know he did this at the same age I was struggling to make a teapot? Amazing!

    Simply beautiful.

    • Bernini was amazing. Just spectacular- there is also the one with the girl turning into a tree as she was chased by Apollo- it was just stunning as well. I love his stuff- so gifted.

  2. Wow. From the pictures, the detail is exquisite. And now I really want to see the inside of the villa. I went internet searching and found one site that had an interior pic. Is this what it was like?

    • Yea- it was exactly that!! Wonderful that you found that interior shot, All the rooms were massive and gorgeous like this. Wonderful place

  3. Thanks for the link Laurie, I took a look. The detail of these sculptures are amazing.

    • Check out the one of Daphne and Apollo- it’s amazing as well.

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