Colonna Palace and Art Gallery




  • You'll love touring with us: you'll learn about past and present palazzo intrigues in this colossal 1,000-room family seat, which dates from 1505 and is among the most treasure-filled palaces in Europe. It is said to be nearly two-thirds the size of St. Peter’s Basilica! It may well be the largest private residence in Italy. The Doria Pamphilj clan, whose family tree includes the renowned Genoese admiral Andrea Doria and Giovanni Battista Pamphilj (Pope Innocent X), is one of just a handful of Rome’s ancient princely families who have survived with their palazzi, fortunes, and stunning art collections intact. So much to discover, uh!

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    Enrique Gonzales

    I saw that you sell a tour including the Colonna Palace and Doria Pamphilii Palace. I am fond of Velasquez, is his famous painting still on display in the Doria Pamphilii gallery?

  • Sure thing, Enrique! The portrait of Portrait of Innocent X by Velasquez is definitely one of the painting masterpieces in the Doria Pamphilj collection, along with the three Caravaggio’s canvas (Repentant Mary Magdalene, Rest on the Flight to Egypt and Saint john the Baptist) and Raffaello’s highly celebrated Double Portrait.

    To stress on the importance of this piece, a mid-19th century arrangement of the Gallery moved the artwork into a special chamber built for it at the far end of the wing running along the Via del Corso, with the purpose of isolating it from the rest of the exhibition.

    The portrait, a masterpiece of 17th century portraiture, was painted between around 1650 and depicts a satirical, saturnine and hideous Pope Giovanni Battista Pamphilj, Pope from 1644 to 1655. Funny to know that apparently the Pope was not at first very enthusiastic about his portrait, describing it as troppo vero, "too real", not an idealized portrait as was customary at the time. However, we are told that it eventually won his approval, and he presented the Spanish painter with a very valuable gold chain. Velázquez himself must presumably have been very pleased with the portrait, or he would not have taken a replica back to Spain with him. His art colleagues certainly praised it, and many copies of the work were made. Check out on Francis Bacon's "Screaming Pope", painted in 1953 after the Velasquez masterpiece! 

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    Enrique Gonzales

    Oh, awesome! Didn't know the Francis Bacon's fact, I will check it out. Can't wait to see Velasquez in Rome in such an opulent baroque gallery. I am booking the tour right now, we'll be there in January. Thank you!

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