Galleria Doria Pamphilj
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Galleria Doria Pamphilj information
Hidden behind the grimy grey exterior of Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, this wonderful gallery boasts one of Rome’s richest private art collections, with works by Raphael, Tintoretto, Brueghel, Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini and Velázquez. Masterpieces abound, but the undisputed star is Velázquez' portrait of an implacable Pope Innocent X, who grumbled that the depiction was 'too real'. Compare it with Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s sculptural interpretation of the same subject.
Palazzo Doria Pamphilj dates to the mid-15th century, but its current look was largely the work of the current owners, the Doria Pamphilj family, who acquired it in the 18th century. The Pamphilj’s golden age, during which the family collection was started, came during the papacy of one of their own, Innocent X (r 1644–55).
The opulent picture galleries, decorated with frescoed ceilings and gilded mirrors, are hung with floor-to-ceiling paintings, all ordered chronologically. Look out for Titian’s Salomè con la testa del Battista (Salome with the Head of John the Baptist) and two early Caravaggios: Riposo durante la fuga in Egitto (Rest During the Flight into Egypt) and Maddalene Penitente (Penitent Magdalen).
The excellent free audioguide, narrated by Jonathan Pamphilj, brings the place alive with family anecdotes and background information.