A private collection
Part of the sweeping estate grounds of the Villa Borghese, this art collection was originally amassed by the Cardinal Scipio Borghese in the 17th century. A great lover of the arts, Borghese was one of the first to support Bernini, the master sculptor credited with inventing the Baroque style. With taste like that, it’s no wonder Borghese’s personal holdings are now considered the finest private art collection in the world.
Masters of the house
In addition to magnificent early works by Bernini, the collection at the Galleria Borghese houses many other classical masters. Sala VIII is teeming with works by Caravaggio, such as David with the Head of Goliath, while the museum’s upper floor is peppered with the paintings of Raphael, who ushered in Italy’s High Renaissance. You’ll also find an early work by Titian, a central figure of the 16th century Venetian school.
The museum’s setting is practically a work of art in and of itself. The estate’s main house Casino Borghese, where the collection is held, has an opulent neoclassical style from a redecoration after the Cardinal Borghese’s death. Floor mosaics, bas reliefs, and frescoes enchant the eye at the gallery’s entrance. From the estate grounds, you can also catch a great view over Rome.