Today we joined the wonderful Amy for a guided tour through the Galleria Borghese.
The galleria Borghese art collection is housed in a Villa that is surrounded by the most beautiful huge garden in the heart of Rome.
Cardinal Scipione Borghese was a very keen art enthusiast, and it is said that he would go to whatever lengths necessary to obtain a piece of art. He originally housed his collection in his cardinal residence near St. Peter's , but he moved it to this Villa in the 1620's. At that time this Villa was outside the city wall of Rome, which is hard to beleive because this area is so close (20 -25 mins walk) to the piazza del Popolo.
The villa itself is decorated with the most beautiful frescos, it hurts your neck just trying to take them all in, they were amazing.
The Galleria has the most wonderful art collection, including paintings by Caravaggio and Raphael, and some pretty sensational sculptures including some by Bernini. I've become such a huge Bernini fan that I bought a book about him and his art work. The Caravaggio paintings were so amazing.
Look at his use of the light to add to the drama and the facial expression of the subject. Just amazing.
The rape of Proserpina
This beautiful sculpture was created by Bernini in 1621 at the age of just 23. This sculpture depicts the story of the rape of prosperina.
Prosperina was the daughter of Jupiter and Ceres. The story goes that Pluto (king of the underworld) after receiving one of cupids arrows came across Prosperina. He fell in love instantly and kidnapped Prosperina,taking her to the underworld. Her Mother Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, searched for her frantically and in as a result all the crops stopped growing and the land became a desert.
Jupiter discovered that she had been taken to the underworld and sent Mercury to negotiate with Pluto. Eventually they came to than arrangement to allow Prosperina to return to her mother for 6 months of the year. Prosperina s return marks the commencement of Spring and she returns to the underworld in Autumn.
I love how Bernini captured an exact moment , her hair is flying as she attempts to escape. A tear is on her cheek her eyes show her distress and fear her hands pushing Pluto away.
Bernini s attention to detail is amazing look at how Plutos hands indent Properina's flesh, the veins on plutos hands , the arm showing Plutos muscles straining with strength to hold prosperina, the folds of her gown . . . .
Just amazing . . . .
Just a small part of the stunning Borghese gardens. Such a lovely place for a quiet stroll. Lots of lovely little areas to sit throughout the garden and a few cute little cafes.
51 via Margutta
This was one my Christmas presents from Gadget . So as most of you probably know I m a huge Audrey Hepburn fan and as luck would have it the delightful Amy came across an opportunity for us to visit the very place where they filmed the external scenes of the apartment of Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck ) in Roman Holiday.
The stairs they use to enter / leave the apartment
The balcony they stand on to enjoy the views of Rome.
From the left side of the verandah we were able to see the church at the top of the Spanish Steps.
To enter the apartment area we had to go through a couple of courtyards and through a few locked
gates and past a very enthusiastic gentleman who (understandably) wants to protect the privacy of the local residents. Was it wonderful walking up the same steps that Audrey did and standing on the very same verandah , sipping Prosecco, as she did, it sure was... It was amazing. It was a beautiful spot and I am very lucky to have a wonderful husband to give it to me as a gift and a friend in Rome who could organise it.
Thank you so much Amy and Gadget