October 21, 2015
The Barberini Palace, just up the hill from Bernini’s Tritone Fountain, is an immense mansion and the home of the Galeria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, art from about the 15th c -17th century. Here is Caravaggio’s Narisco- Narcissus. Get a load of the reflection!
In the galleries I try to find something I can draw. I try to find something that is interesting and doable in 5-10 minutes and where there is a seat, good lighting, things like that. Sketch of Gerrit van Bronckhorst’s Betsaben al Bagno. I’d never heard of this painter. Seems to have been influenced by Caravaggio, given how he treats the light here.
Back to Caravaggio, here’s another masterpiece hanging in room 20 (in my best Spanish accent, I asked where this room was in Italian and got a reply in Spanish!). It’s so gruesome I nearly walked out of the room!
Salvator Rosa’s “La Poesia” and “La Musica” (17th century) are superb.
And a rarity for the time, a woman painter, and quite a good one! Portrait of a Young Woman Dressed as a Bacchante
Here’s yet another prize- what the Galleria notes as the first female nude:
Jacopo Zucchi “Ritratto di Ciela Farnese”
As for the building, it is a divine palace built by the Barberini family, whose symbol, three bees, appears throughout. It is in wonderful shape. The most magnificent room is on the second floor, immense and nearly empty except for several small sofas in the middle. People lay on them and look at the ceiling, some 20 meters/60 feet above. Here’s why:
You have to go there to appreciate all of these, especially this ceiling though.
All this for 7 euros.