Monday, March 29, 2010

Rapporto di Roma 10: Galleria Borghese

We reserved to see the Galleria Borghese at 5-7:00 PM the same day that we saw the Capucin Crypts. So, we headed up to the Pincio Park and Sean took my photo with Rome in the background.

Here is Sean's photo of the Roman sunset:

Here is my photo of the Roman sunset:

Same sunset, different cameras, different colors! Amazing!
Before we entered the Galleria Borghese, I took a photo of it. No photographs are allowed of the art inside the Galleria [of course!!!], so all the pictures of art are from the official site except for the mosaic, which is from the wiki site.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was only 25 when he completed this sculpture of David facing off against Goliath in 1624. What had you accomplished by the time you were 25? Makes you ill to think of it, doesn't it?

This is Apollo, god of light, chasing chaste nymph Daphne, who turns into a laurel tree. He began it at age 24. The figures are life size. We rented the audio tour and learned that tools were rediscovered that were used at the time, in order to clean the sculpture. The leaves ring like crystal when carefully struck. This piece is extremely impressive in person because of the free expanses of marble that just hang in the air: note his left foot and right arm. Each leaf is thin as a piece of paper! The sculpture is miraculous!

Here is Pluto and Prosperpina by Bernini; also a masterpiece. The group was completed in 1622.
This is a very impressive work in that it is so life-like. You can really sense the emotions that Prosperpina feels as Pluto's powerful hands grasp her tightly, indenting her flesh, as his foul dog Cerebrus barks loudly and tears pour down her face. She helplessly pushes him away, screaming and kicking for all she is worth; to no avail. Her fate is sealed! Alas, poor Prosperpina!

It is very regretful that there are not many more photos of the wonderful Gladiator mosaics available on the internet [this wiki one is the only one]. They were very impressive. I especially liked the ones where they were fighting animals. Also, we learned from the audio guides that the little theta symbols mean that a gladiator died. The mosaics dated from 30 - 320 AD!

Diana by Domenichino painted in 1616-17. The audio guide indicated that males were not supposed to witness Diana and her nymphs at play, yet the nymph at the bottom had spotted the observer. Hmm. So my thought was, were these "pin up girls" of the times?

Sacred and Profane Love a masterpiece by Titian painted in 1514. Painted when the artist was only 25. So... what did you accomplish by the time you were...

After our evening of high culture, we went to our now usual joint for dinner. That's right, we found a local dinner place that was family run, where we loved the food, especially the deserts, and the staff. They would sit us on the wall adjacent to the pizza ovens which was always toasty warm! We methodically went through their entire menu and enjoyed dish after dish of fabulous high calorie Italian food! Their baba were notable as they would pour the rum over them right before serving! YUM! I was addicted!

On our last night there, I hugged the waitress warmly and kissed her!
Much more Rome to come!

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