Roma: fourth day: Borghese Galleria

Walked to Campo di’Fiori market to buy some fruit.

Stopped to look in the church of Ignazio di Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, with its ceiling by Andrea Pozzo:

Returned again with Scott later in the morning. The helpful mirror so your neck won’t get stiff:

Walked to Santa Maria del Popolo; passed a few churches on the way:

More Caravaggios in the church of del Popolo. The Conversion of St. Paul:

Crucifixion of St Peter:

Both paintings are original in their foreshortening and elimination of background to condense the action to the main players and gloss over place and time.

We also looked at Bernini’s statue of Habakuk and the Angel in a chapel designed by Raphael.

Our main activity was a tour of the Borghese Gallery. We strolled through the gardens of Villa Borghese. First photo below is a statue of the German author, Goethe, who wrote about his travels in Italy, which he found romantic and which is why, I assume, there’s a statue of him in Rome.


Our docent for the tour explained the Villa Borghese building was intended to be used as a party house, not for living in. The model was the Villa Farnesina that we saw earlier, which was intended to be like an ancient Roman villa. The first room in the building includes ancient Roman mosaics.

The owner Scipione Borghese was the nephew of Pope Paul IV. He used the papal treasury to buy art and fund lavish parties. Corruption–big time–filled the place with priceless art. He particularly liked Caravaggio and Bernini. Seems to me that he had a good eye for contemporary art.

An important Raphael has been damaged by last year’s wet weather and the lack of humidity control at the Villa.

Spent some time looking at Titian’s painting done for the marriage of an important Roman and talked about how it can be interpreted as a promise of eternal devotion in marriage after youthful love and beauty has faded.

Da Cortona’s ceiling in the main banqueting room.

Dinner was nearby at La Terazza on the rooftop of Hotel Eden.

Some clever amuse bouches:

Tomatoes and clams including tomato peach soup and tomato sorbet:

Ravioli filled with veal broth:

Rabbit, bok choy and rhubarb:

Braised beef, asparagus, asparagus creme brûlée and sweet potato:

No dessert ordered but we got this box of sweets. They wouldn’t let Scott take the box home.

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