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David Room

Room 2

The room was named "Room of  the Sun" because of the presence in the centre of the ceiling of the Fall of Phaeton – struck by Jupiter’s thunderbolt, because he was unable to drive the chariot of the sun, as told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses – executed between 1775 and 1777 by Francesco Caccianiga (1700-1781). The four medallions half-way up the sides, by Gioacchino Agricola (active 1758-1795), portray instead the consequeces of the action (Apollo resumes his course, The Heliades lament Phaeton’s fall, Darkness covers the earth, The Vesper holds the torches towards the earth). The same artist executed the figures of the putti and the nude figures, while the trompe-l’oeils are by Giovanni Battista Marchetti (1730-1800).

In the centre is the David by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), executed 1623-24.

Following the reconstitution of the collection, after 1815 three sculptures portraying Heracles were placed in the room, then moved to the portico and the terrace, hence its subsequent name, “The Room of Hercules“.

As early as the end of the ninteenth century, the statues of the hero were replaced by three paintings: the Samson in Prison by Annibale Carracci (1560-1609), the David with the Head of Goliath by Battistello Caracciolo (c. 1570-1637), and   the  Andromede by Rutilio Manetti (1571-1639).

Two noteworthy paintings are the still lifes attributed to the Hartford Master, who was active in Rome around 1600: (Still life with birds and Still life with flowers, frui, vegetables, and two lizards.

Along the walls there are numerous ancient sculptures, including a slab fom a sarcophagus with a Sea Tiasus (third century C.E.) and two columnar sarcophagus sides with the Labours of Hercules, a work executed in Asia Minor around 160 C.E. The theme of Hercules is present in other sculptures: the Colossal Head of Heracles (end of the second century C.E.), two herms and two portrait statues of children imitating poses of the demi-god (middle of the second century C.E.).


The masterpieces in the room

The masterpieces in the room

Works in the room


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