Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica: Palazzo Barberini
More a traffic thoroughfare than a place to linger, this noisy square is named after the Barberini family, one of Rome’s great dynastic...
Fontana del Tritone
Chiesa di San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane
It might not look it, with its grubby facade and traffic-choked location, but this tiny church is a masterpiece of Roman baroque. It was...
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This welcoming, tucked-away restaurant just off Piazza Barberini flies the flag for Emilia-Romagna, the well-fed Italian province that...
Via delle Quattro Fontane 13 · interesting places nearby
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica: Palazzo Barberini information
Commissioned to celebrate the Barberini family’s rise to papal power, Palazzo Barberini is a sumptuous baroque palace that impresses even before you go inside and start on the breathtaking art. Many highprofile architects worked on it, including rivals Bernini and Borromini: the former contributed a large squared staircase, the latter a helicoidal one.
Amid the masterpieces, don’t miss Pietro da Cortona’s Il Trionfo della Divina Provvidenza (Triumph of Divine Providence; 1632–39), the most spectacular of the palazzo’s ceiling frescoes in the 1st-floor main salon. Other must-sees include Hans Holbein’s famous portrait of a pugnacious Henry VIII (c 1540), Filippo Lippi’s luminous Annunciazione e due devoti (Annunciation with two Kneeling Donors) and Raphael’s La Fornarina (The Baker’s Girl), a portrait of his mistress who worked in a bakery in Trastevere. Works by Caravaggio include San Francesco d’Assisi in meditazione (St Francis in Meditation), Narciso (Narcissus; 1571–1610) and the mesmerisingly horrific Giuditta e Oloferne (Judith Beheading Holophernes; c 1597–1600).