Sculpture

Borghese Gallery Sculptures encapsulate a rich tapestry of artistic prowess, stretching from the grandeur of the Baroque period to the elegant beauty of Neoclassicism, interspersed with echoes of Rome’s ancient past.

Dominating this collection are the masterpieces of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. His “Apollo and Daphne” arrests the mythological transformation in marble. Daphne’s fingers morph into delicate leaves right before the viewer’s eyes, a fleeting moment frozen in time that showcases Bernini’s remarkable craftsmanship.

His rendition of “David” is a symphony of tension and energy. Unlike conventional static interpretations, Bernini’s David is etched with raw intensity. The hero’s muscles are taut, veins bulging as he prepares to launch the fatal stone – a powerful testament to Bernini’s prowess in animating stone with human vitality.

The “Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix” by Antonio Canova gracefully marries power and allure. It portrays Pauline, Napoleon’s sister, in the guise of the victorious Venus, a delicate fusion of political power and divine beauty. From the supple folds of draped clothing to the intricate carvings on the couch, Canova’s meticulous detailing makes it a paragon of neoclassical elegance.

Amid these Baroque and Neoclassical masterpieces, the Borghese collection also hosts a treasury of ancient Roman sculptures and antiquities. These artworks testify to the Borghese family’s deep appreciation for the Roman past. Notable among these are ancient sarcophagi, intricate mosaics, and the unique “Hermaphrodite Asleep,” a Greek marble statue from the 2nd century BC.

Art historian Howard Hibbard observed that the Borghese collection “offers an intimate comprehension of the artists’ thoughts and processes, the struggle of chisel and paintbrush with stone and canvas.”

This dynamic interplay between the narrative, form, and artistic evolution marks the Sculpture section of Collection Galleria Borghese as a timeless journey through the annals of art history.

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