At the Galleria Borghese, Rome

Virtually explore the Galleria Borghese with Smarthistory as your guide

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the Galleria Borghese's website

Antonio Canova, <em>Paolina Borghese as Venus Victorious</em>
Antonio Canova, Paolina Borghese as Venus Victorious

Napoleon’s sister courted controversy and posed semi-nude for Canova, who sculpted her as a modern-day Venus.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, <em>Pluto and Proserpina</em> (or <em>The Rape of Proserpina</em>)
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pluto and Proserpina (or The Rape of Proserpina)

Pluto hoists up Proserpina. She resists, pushing him away. Their desires clash, creating a dynamic composition.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, <em>Apollo and Daphne</em>
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Apollo and Daphne

Skin transforms into bark, limbs sprout branches, and stone softens into flesh. What a perfect subject for Bernini.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, <em>David</em>
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, David

Duck! This slingshot may never fire, but Bernini fools us. We can feel David gathering strength to battle Goliath.