Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rome Galleries

Rome is, without a doubt, a very rich city in art, especially its various galleries and Palazzios. My favorite ones from what i had time to explore follow:

If you have time for only one, definitely go to the Borgese Gallery. It is situated in a calm and romantic garden, and preserves incredible works, especially several statues by Bernini, the inventor of Barocco, and the third genious Italian sculptor in the direct Donatello-Michelangelo line.

One has to see Daphne and Apollo to believe it. It captures the moment when Daphne is transforming into a tree while still being chased by lustful Apollo, the picture hardly represents the life-like, pure emotion syrup:

And this view of David in motion:Another rich Palazzo-museum is the Capitolian one, situated on Michelangelo's Campodoglia, the perfect plazza. It is full of Roman and Greek statues from various excavations, and is itself situated where the old Jupiter temple used to stand on the Capitolian hill, the center of Roman civillization. The museum also beholds the bronze statue of the wolverine that supposedly fed Romulus and his brother Remus in their infancy, before they founded the eternal city.

Another interesting visit has been to the Medici Villa and its gardens. They are only accessible on specific times as it is still the residence of the young French Rome prize winners for art. The villa is situated on another hill, close to the Plaza de Spagna, with very beautiful views of the Rome panorama, but also incredible gardens:
It is easier to understand seeing these gardens how painting would start incorporating perspective into its quarters. Numerous French artists lived in the villa, such as Debussy or Berlioz, Ingres was its director for years, Velasques painted the below arch in his paintings several times. All of these references, and a knowledgeable guide speaking both, Italian and French, make the garden visit a must for the art-inclined.

Bellini expo at the Scuderie de Quirinale is worth a glimpse - it highlights the artist's journey from Messina's influence to the final mastery, as with this Christ with the cross from the Isabella Gardner Museum:

and the Pieta:

I also enjoyed Barberini Palace and its Carravagios as well as the Colonna gallery (only open on Saturday mornings), still reserving its very beautiful decoration and marble floors for the curious souls. Less impresive, although possible visits are the Spada, Corsini, and Venezzia Palazzos, all full of further works of art.

I did forget about the ancient Rome here, but there were just too many museums to pay tribute to the Romans, here we go:

Oh, and Merry Christmas to everyone:

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