Cardinal Scipione Borghese

Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V is well known as being the patron of the young Bernini who carved numerous works for Borghese’s collection including David, Apollo, Pluto and Proserpina, and Daphne. In addition to collecting works by Bernini, Borghese also collected works by Raphael, Caravaggio, and one of Titian’s most famous works, Sacred and Profane Love. All of these works were housed in a large estate and vineyard on the Pincian hill in Rome developed by Borghese and named the Villa Borghese. Other works acquired by Borghese and displayed in the Gallery Borghese included St. Dominic and The Education of Cupid. The Villa also included an extensive garden, which also functioned as a museum as it featured numerous statues and reliefs. The villa was also part of an urbanizing program promoted by Pope Paul V to show the magnificence of Rome through restoring ancient architecture and creating spectacular new urban environments. The grounds reflected symmetry, magnificence, and decorum and could be enjoyed freely by Romans and visitors, becoming a place where artists could view modern art for themselves.

Bohn, Babette and James Saslow, eds. A Companion to Renaissance and Baroque Art. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.