Thursday, March 24, 2016



Begun in 1560 by Jacopo Barozzi aka Vignola (1507/73) for the Della Genga family
In 1586 it was bought by Cardinal Pietro Deza who employed Martino Longhi the Elder (1534/91) to continue the construction
Completed in the years 1605/14 by Flaminio Ponzio (1560/1613) for Cardinal Camillo Borghese who became Pope Paul V (1605/21). Carlo Maderno (1556/1629) also worked on the project
“Inside the Palazzo Borghese, the arrangement of the doors, which allow in the side facing the Piazza Borghese, to see a succession of nine consecutive environments and at the far end, framed in the escape of doors, a particular image of the garden is evidence of an attentiveness to illusive optical values, which reveals the orientation of Ponzio toward a Baroque trend” (Paolo Portoghesi)
It is known as the clavicembalo (harpsicord) for its shape and it is one of the largest palaces of Rome
In the famous FAÇADE TOWARDS THE RIVER TIBER 1612/14 by Flaminio Ponzio, corresponding to the “keyboard” of the great harpsichord, there is a PORTAL built in the years 1671/75 by Carlo Rainaldi (1611/91)
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries this palace was considered one of the four wonders of the city along with the Palazzo Farnese, the Caetani stairs in Palazzo Ruspoli and the gate of Palazzo Sciarra
It is in part the office of the Spanish Embassy and of the Hunting Club
Designed by Martino Longhi the Elder with two rows of arches supported by “Ninety-six wonderful columns in pairs” and “Ancient statues” including some that adorned the stage of the Theatre of Pompey
“Bath of Venus” and fountains by Giovanni Paolo Schor (1615/74) and Carlo Rainaldi
Superb paintings representing the “Four Continents” by Ludovico Stern (1709/77), his masterpiece
Ludovico Stern (son of Ignazio Stern) served with almost no interruption from 1748 to 1777 for the Prince Paolo Borghese Aldobrandini
“He worked for patrons of the utmost importance and became the most popular painter of altarpieces. Of high rank, although limited in number, was also the decorative cycles for noble residences, culminating in his masterpiece, the four paintings in Palazzo Borghese. His mature style, finally, presents characteristics of refinement of color, essentiality of stroke and simplicity of composition that place him along a line in Roman art of late eighteenth century leading up to Giuseppe Cades, Antonio Cavallucci and Domenico Corvi” (Francesco Petrucci -
Frescoes by the Roman Ciro Ferri (1634/89), by Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi (1606/80) from Bologna, by Domenico Corvi (1721/1803) from Viterbo and by the Venetian Paolo Piazza (1557/1621)
Fresco in the ground floor “Birth of Venus” by Gaetano Lapis (1706/76)
The huge collection of paintings was transferred in 1891 to the Casino Borghese
Part of the building (about 1,000 square meters) was owned by the entrepreneur Vittorio Cecchi Gori from whom it was confiscated in 2009 following the bankruptcy of the football team Fiorentina of which he was president

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