From October 14th a special itinerary dedicated to Pope Paul V will be available in the museum. Pope Paul V (born Camillo Borghese, 1552-1621) was the uncle of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and defined as “great Uncle” for being an example of moral virtue and a model for his nephew, a great patron and collector.
The itinerary consists of new scientific entries on the works that can be accessed through one’s smartphone using a QRCode (which is located on the caption of the works) and accompanied by an original audio.
Four centuries after the pontiff’s death, Galleria Borghese is commemorating this key figure in the history of the arts in Rome by establishing an itinerary in the museum that highlights the works linked to his life and work.
The project includes twenty-two works by artists such as Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Giovanni Baglione and Cavalier d’Arpino, distributed over the museum’s two floors: sculptures, paintings and mosaics depicting Paul V, commissioned by him or related to some of his actions, such as the paintings from the 1607 seizure in the workshop of Cavalier d’Arpino, who was accused of illegal possession of weapons. In order to have his sentence cancelled, the painter was probably forced to give his collection of about 110 paintings – as well as books and drawings – to the Pope, who later donated it to his nephew Scipione.
During the years of his pontificate (1605-1621), Paul V promoted several great works, such as the completion of St. Peter’s Basilica, with the construction of the nave and the façade entrusted to Carlo Maderno, and the enlargement of the Quirinal Palace, carried out by Flaminio Ponzio, author, together with the Flemish Jan Van Santen, Italianised Vasanzio, also of the architectural project for the Palazzina Borghese, destined to house Scipione’s collection. Ponzio was also responsible for the construction of the family chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, dedicated to the Madonna Salus Populi Romani and known as the Borghese or Pauline Chapel. In contrast, standing out in the field of what we would today call public works, is the restoration of Trajan’s aqueduct, which originated from the springs in the area of Lake Bracciano, and the Aqua Alsietina, which came from Lake Martignano. The purpose of these works was to supply water to homes on the Janiculum Hill, where the monumental Acqua Paola fountain was erected, and in the Trastevere district.
While appreciating and promoting contemporary artists, such as Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Giovanni Baglione or the Cavalier d’Arpino, Paul V left the task of creating a family collection to Scipione Borghese, who over the years of his pontificate and beyond, with great determination and a certain ease, collected a large number of works of art and masterpieces that can be admired today in the Galleria Borghese.