Rome is a city so steeped in culture that it is difficult to know where to begin. Art galleries abound, from the classical masterpiece, the Borghese, to the new galleries of contemporary art. Indeed, the galleries of Rome provide interest for everyone-from the art afficionado to the "dabbler" and everyone in between.

Galleria Borghese

This magnificent gallery is situated in the Borghese Gardens and has recently opened following a meticulous 14-year renovation program. The extraordinarily close attention to detail during this renovation has created a truly spactacular backdrop for some of the world's most important works of art. The gallery itself is housed in the summer house of the Villa Borghese (right photo). Built in 1613, the summer house was designed as a venue for summertime parties and to house Cardinal Scipione Borghese's extensive collection of statues and paintings.

These include major works by Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio, Antonello da Messina, Raphael, Rubens and Titian.
A portion of the original art works were bought by Napoleon in 1807, and transferred to the Musée Louvre in Paris, where they remain today. Replacement works were purchased throughout the 19 th century and, in 1902, the state purchased the entire Villa Borghese and its contents.

Galleria Colonna

The striking Galleria Colonna is situated in the huge complex of Palazzo Colonna. Construction of the gallery began in 1654 and spanned 50 years. The gallery itself was designed as a work of art. The spectacular Baroque setting forms a mesmerizing backdrop for the many masterpieces within. These include works by Francesco Albani, Pompeo Batoni, Bronzino, Annibale Carracci, Pietro da Cortona, Gaspard Dughet, Ghirlandaio, Guercino, Jacopo, Carlo Maratta, Lorenzo Monaco, Girolamo Muziano, Crescenzio Onofriand, Guido Reni, Salviati, Domenico Tintoretto, Palma il Vecchio and Veronese.

Galleria dell'Accademia di San Luca

Considered among Rome's most prestigious galleries, Galleria dell'Accademia di San Luca houses important works from the 16 th to 19 th centuries. The galleria was founded as an art academy in 1478 with the premise that every member should donate a work to its perpetual memory . As a result of these donated works, the galleria contains a distinguished collection of classical works by a number of renowned artists. These include Bellini, Brueghel, Canova, Caravaggio, Pietro da Cortona , van Bloemen , van Bloemen, vanDyck, Guercino, Lippi, Lotto, Michelangelo, Joseph Nollekens Parmigianino, Raphael, Reni, Rubens, il Sassoferrato, Titian and Velázquez.
The collection is rounded out by terracotta reliefs submitted during 18th-century competitions.

Galleria nazionale d'arte moderna

The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna (Modern National Gallery) houses the most important collection of Italian paintings and sculptures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Works by artists of the contemporary art movements are represented as well as neo-classicism, romanticism and Tuscan Macchiaoli impressionism. The gallery's numerous exhibits include works by Blake, Cara, Cezanne, de Chirico, Courbet, Degas, Delacroix, Duchamp, Géricault, Goya, Kandinsky, Klimt, Miró, Modigliani, Mondrian, Monet, Renoir, Rossetti and Van Gogh.

Galleria Spada

The Galleria Spada is situated behind the majestic sixteenth century Palazzo Spada-one of the most beautiful squares in Rome. The galleria contains a superb collection of works, primarily from the 17 th and 18 centuries, which belonged to the Spada family. The Palazzo Spada in which the gallery is housed, was once the property of Cardinal Girolamo Capodiferro (1501-1559). After his death, the palace was occupied by the Mignanelli family before being bought in 1632 by Cardinal Bernardino Spada. Cardinal Spada immediately established the basis of an art collection, and embarked on a series of modifications employing various painters, sculptors and architects. Among these was Francesco Borromini who created the famed Perspective Gallery.

Artists in the Galleria Spada collection include Brueghel the Elder, Caravaggio, Carracci, Durer, Domenichino, Guercino, Parmigianino, Passarotti , Guido Reni, Salvator Rosa, Rubens, del Sarto and Solimena. Of special interest: In the General Council Chamber of the Palazzo is a massive statue of Pompey. It is said that Julius Caesar was murdered at the foot of this statue.

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica

The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica (National Gallery of Antique Art) is located on two sites-the Palazzo Barberini and the Palazzo Corsini. The Palazzo Barberini is considered to be one of the grandest palaces in Rome. It was built in the early seventeenth century and features the architectural influence and design of Bernini, Borromini and Maderno. The interior is equally as majestic, featuring the most famous work of Pietro da Cortona-the Triumph of Divine Providence- on the ceiling of the Salone. This magnificent work took six years to complete. The Barberini collection mainly consists of Italian paintings from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries with works by Fra Angelico, Canaletto, Caravaggio, Filippo Lippi, Lorenzo Lotto, Perugino, Raphael, and Andrea del Sarto.
The Palazzo Corsini was originally built in the 15th century, and underwent remodelling in the 18 th century. It is a relatively small yet attractive gallery containing a large collection of 17th and 18th century regional Italian paintings in addition to works by Brueghel, Caravaggio, Murrillo, Poussin and Rubens.

Museo di Palazzo Massimo

The building, situated near the Termini station in Piazza dei Cinquecento 67, was constructed in 1883-87 by Camillo Pistrucci imitating the noble residences of the early Roman baroque period.
Exhibited in the central hall are works that illustrate the political and ideological program of Augustus, including the statue of Augustus dressed as the Pontifex Maximus from the Via Labicana.
The first floor offers iconographic works from the Age of the Flavians to the late Empire, with examples of the decorations used on imperial villas and aristocratic residences.In the section featuring the physical activities related to gymnasiums and public baths, visitors can admire two copies of the Discus Thrower by Myron.

The second floor offers in-depth documentation on mosaic and pictorial decorations from the Ist cent. B.C. to the late Imperial Age.
On the basement level, a rich coin collection is displayed, including extremely rare pieces, such as the medaillon of Theodoric, the silver piasters of the Pontifical State with views of Rome and the four ducats of Pope Paul II. The exhibition is completed by a section on luxury in the Roman world, featuring a rich selection of jems and jewels.

Galleria d'Arte Moderna

The Galleria d'Arte Moderna (Municipal Gallery of Modern Art)

Evolving from an early twentieth-century idea to encourage artists living and working in Rome, the first exhibition of the Galleria d'Arte Moderna (Modern Art Gallery) was at the Palazzo Caffarelli in 1925. As the collection grew, it moved through a succession of palazzo venues until January 1995, when the exhibition was reopened in a former convent of the Barefooted Carmelites of St. Joseph. The collection is made up of over 4000 pieces, the majority of which were executed between 1800 and 1900 and include works by Rodin, Balla, de Pisis, Prampolini and Carrè.

The arrangement, established in a former convent of the Barefooted Carmelites dedicated to St. Joseph, features 130 works which highlight the most meaningful developments in XXth-century Italian art.
The Gallery offers a library, plus archives equipped with photographic and scientific reference equipment for the benefit of scholars and whoever else presents a request. The Gallery also possesses a computerized catalogue available to the public, together with the standard card catalogue.
The Gallery includes works of A. Rodin, G. Balla, F. Depero, G. Morandi, G. De Pisis, G. De Chirico, C. Carrà, M. Mafai, Afro, R. Guttuso, etc.

The address of the Galleri is: Viale delle Belle Arti 131. Open Tue-Sun 8:30-19:30. Closed on Monday. Ticket cost 6.50 Euro. Ticket information phone 0632298221

Museo Capitolino

Standing atop Rome's most celebrated hill, the Capitoline, the Museo Capitolino is part art gallery and part museum. The two elegant late-renaissance palaces, designed by Michelangelo, house a spectacular assembly of Greek and Roman works including the statues, the dying Gaul and Capitoline Venus. The old Masters are also represented here, including Baroque and Renaisssance paintings by Bernini, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer.

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