Palazzo Corsini National Gallery

Via della Lungara, 10

Opening time: Tues. to Fri. 9-19, Sat. 9-14, Sun. 9-13 (from Sept. to July); Tues. to Sat. 9-14, Sun. 9-13 (Aug.) closed Mon.
Admission charge: Lit. 8,000
public property

The museum houses the collection of art works gathered by Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini (nephew of pope Clemens XII, 1730-40) with the advise of his librarian Giovanni Gaetano Bottari (erudite and art historian). The Cardinal was actively engaged in the defense of the Roman artistical heritage and his name is also linked to the foundation of the Capitoline museums and of the Calcografia Nazionale. In 1883 the collection was donated to the Italian State, thus making up the first nucleus of the National Gallery of Ancient Art. In addition to the vast and interesting picture gallery, the collection of ancient sculptures, located on the ground floor entrance hall and along the corridors, is particularly remarkable. Among the most interesting pieces, four very well preserved sarcophagi (the one with the scenes of the Marine Thiasus probably inspired the statues of Fontana di Trevi); a series of busts and two virile statues, one dating from the Trajan period, the other of the Meleagros type (2nd century AD).
Palazzo Corsini was commissioned to architect Ferdinando Fuga (1699-1781) by Cardinal Neri Maria Corsini, who in 1736 had acquired the 16th-century Palazzo Riario on via della Lungara. The old building was englobed into the new Palazzo Corsini, with its beautiful double-flight staircase, and the vast entrance hall opening with a triple barrel-vault on via della Lungara.
The gallery houses a great number of works, from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The most important pieces on display include: the triptych of the Last Judgement, the Ascension and the Pentecost by Beato Angelico; Saint Sebastian attended by Angels by Rubens; the Madonna of the Straw by Van Dick; The Madonna with Child by Murillo; Saint John the Baptist in the Desert by Caravaggio; the Madonna with Child by Orazio Gentileschi; Ovidiuss Triumph by Nicolas Poussin; Rebecca by the Spring by Carlo Maratta; Blind Homer by P. F. Mola; the Sheperds Adoration by Guercino; various paintings by Guido Reni (Salome with the Head of the Baptist, Saint Girolamus, Christ crowned with Thornes, Our Lady of Sorrows, Saint John the Baptist); Jesus among the Doctors by Luca Giordano. A large space is devoted to 17th-century genre painting, among which the Battle and the Drinking Trough, two works by Michelangelo Cerquozzi, the Aqua-vitae Seller and the Seller of Ring-shaped Cakes by J. Lingelbach; landscapes (e.g. those by Gaspar Dughet, by the Master of Birches, by G. P. Pannini) and still-lifes are also well represented, among which those by Abraham Brueghel are of great interest and artistic value. The gallery undoubtedly provides extensive documentation on the development of painting between the 17th and the 18th century, especially in Naples and Rome where, in addition to the Italians, many artists in particular from Northern Europe and Holland also worked.

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