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Hercules Room

Room 10


The room was originally known as the “Room of Sleep“, because it hosted a canopy bed and the Allegory of Sleep, in nero antico marble, by Alessandro Algardi (1595-1654), now in room XV.
Like the preceding room, it was decorated by a painter with a northern European culture, the Tyrolese Christoph Unterberger (1732-1798), who came to Rome from Vienna and became a member of the Accademia di San Luca in 1772.
The series on the ceiling is based on the figure of Hercules, the victorious emblem of Marcantonio Borghese, who commissioned the work. Executed in 1784, it consists of five paintings with episodes connected with the hero’s famous labours: the Apotheosis of Hercules; Hercules receiving the horn of Achelous from the Naiads; Nessus and Deianira; Hercules and Lichas; and the Death of  Hercules. The paintings are set in large laminated frames, while trompe-l’oeils open up at the corners.
On display in the room are sixteenth-century paintings from the schools of Florence, Parma, Bologna, Brescia, and Genoa in central and northern Italy.
A pupil of Andrea del Sarto, Brescianino (active between 1506 and 1525) executed the Venus with Two Cherubs, which as early as the seventeenth century was compared to the one by Lucas Cranach (1472-1553).
The Deer Hunt by Niccolò dell’Abate (c. 1509-1571), in a courtly and narrative style, and the Magic Procession, attribuited to Girolamo da Carpi (1501-1556), with evident reflections of Bosch’s world, were conceived as pendants.
Over the porphry fireplace is one of the collection’s masterpieces, the Danae, by  Correggio (1489-1534), which was executed in 1530 and acquired by Prince Camillo in Paris in 1827.
The sculpture in the centre, portraying a Gypsy Girl in grey marble, white marble, and inserts of gilded bronze, is by Nicolas Cordier (1567-1612), from Lorraine.


The masterpieces in the room


The masterpieces in the room

map

Works in the room

Works not currently on display


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