Hg2 : The Hedonist

Palazzo Barberini

Sadly there seems to be no one cracking the whip these days, and a seemingly endless restoration process is still under way. This makes viewing erratic and frustrating, and must really irritate the Armed Forces Officers’ Club who share the palazzo with the art gallery. Fortunately the Grand Salone ceiling painting by Pietro da Cortona is permanently on view, depicting the (self-aggrandizing) Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power. Note the bees, which made up the Barberini coat of arms and appear on buildings all over the city. Cortona’s painting is an example of baroque illusionism – he tries to paint away the architecture of the roof to create an unframed vista, like a portal in the sky. The permanent collection is in rotation, and because of the restoration programme it is not possible to guarantee what will be on show. Highlights of the collection include Raphael’s La Fornarina, Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII, Filippo Lippi’s Madonna and Tintoretto’s Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery.

Address
Via delle Quattro Fontane 13/via Barberini 18,
Via Veneto
Telephone
+39 06 32810
Opening Times
Tues-Sun, 8.30-7pm. Closed Mondays, December 25th and January 1st.
Price
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