It was thrilling to discover that a mere 10 minutes walk away from our hotel in Porta Pia was the art museum Galleria Borghese, which houses a good collection of amazing paintings by masters like Caravaggio, Raphael, Rubens, Titian, and the sculptor Bernini. Indeed, the work of Bernini are the stuff of legends I had only read and seen in art books as a student, and to finally gaze upon the actual sculptures was an experience quite unreal.
(above) The unassuming front entrance to the Galleria. The museum is surrounded by the Villa Borghese gardens, which itself is a great way to spend the morning strolling through.
(above) David, by Bernini. The sculpture captures the triumphant and defining moment as David, his face fierce with determination, readies a slingshot which he uses to defeat the giant Goliath. Bernini’s approach to the subject matter is altogether different from another master sculptor Michelangelo (yeah, the smug dude only dabbled in painting), which I saw later in Florence. Bernini’s uncanny ability to depict movement in his sculptures is legendary. I must have walked around this piece for about 20 minutes admiring the masterpiece from all angles.
(above) Yet another masterpiece by Bernini, Apollo and Daphne. This one he finished when he was around 25 years old, a walk in the park. How any mortal can carve such an insanely intricate and complex piece of sculpture from a block of solid marble is beyond me. You really have to see this piece in person to believe it.
(above & below) Bacchus and David With Goliath’s Head, the first of many Caravaggio paintings I had the fortune of seeing on this trip. I however, prefer Guido Reni’s rendition of the latter, which I saw at the Uffizi.
(above) One of the cornerstones of the base of a giant sculpture found in the Borghese gardens. It immediately reminded me of the one found in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (image below), complete with snake motifs too. The handsome and chiseled face may also remind you of the “Engineers” in Prometheus – indeed, Ridley Scott based his designs on classical sculptures like these.
Note : No photography is allowed in the galleries – the pictures of Bernini and Caravaggio’s work are sourced from the web.