- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Visit Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome
Palazzo Barberini is an imposing Baroque building that houses the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, the National Gallery of Ancient Art. Commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the mansion surpassed the elegance and luxury of every other palace owned by the Roman nobility of the period.
In 1623, Maffeo Barberini, once made Pope (Pope Urban VIII), ordered the construction of the estate to Italian architect Carlo Maderno, who is responsible for the design of St Peter’s Basilica’s façade. The construction started in 1625 and was finished in 1633 by Bernini, after Maderno’s death.
In 1949, the Italian State bought the palazzo to house the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, which was created from the donations of pieces of art by several noble Italian families.
The National Gallery of Ancient Art features over 1,400 works of art of renowned artists from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century, including Tiziano, El Greco, Caravaggio, Tintoretto or Raphael and his famous portrait, La fornarina.
One of the most noteworthy halls is the oval salone, covering the entire height of the building. The salon’s ceiling has a vast fresco by the Italian Baroque artist Pietro da Cortona, depicting the Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power.