The Borghese family flourished in Rome in the fifteenth century. This dynasty was able to establish itself in a fairly short period due to wise political and economic decisions. The Borghese constructed some of Rome's most amazing buildings, some of which are still accessible today, to consolidate their name and control. The Villa Borghese was initially constructed as the ultra-rich dynasty's private residence. At one time, mysterious creatures like peacocks would have roamed the property, giving the area a fantasy atmosphere. Rome's zoo is what it is now. One of Rome's largest and most stunning parks is the Villa Borghese Gardens. Cardinal Scipione Borghese, a passionate art collector who desired a location to display and preserve the family's collection of fine art, had the idea to build an art gallery inside the Borghese Villa. One of the nicest things you can do in Rome is to visit the gardens and gallery, both of which are free to enter.
Even though it's an early Caravaggio picture, it's one of the earliest where you can kind of see the artist's illness. Early parent loss and substance abuse were problems for Caravaggio. The amount of filth on his victims' bodies indicates that a big portion of them were either prostitutes or homeless people. The exception is this particular artwork. Famously examining the fruit in this painting, Perdue famously remarked on the astonishing precision of Caravaggio's paintbrush. Nothing was overlooked by him. This level of accuracy in a subject carrying a bowl or basket of fruit could be compared to making a three-point shot from across the floor in basketball or converting a hail mary in American football.
Caravaggio's John in the Wilderness, which features a fragile and worn-out St. John the Baptist, is located right next to Boy with a Basket of Fruit. This painting's overwhelming melancholy simultaneously pulls you in and drives you away. A casual art critic would claim that John is inconsolable as he considers the impending death of Jesus Christ. But anyone familiar with Caravaggio's art would likely claim that the artist paid a street kid to pose for the painting, who eventually got bored, and Caravaggio finished it.
One of Bernini's less well-known sculptures is Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius, which was finished in 1619. It represents Aeneas' escape from Rome, as it is told in the Aeneid after Troy was taken by the Greeks, in a lovely way. Aeneas departs while carrying both his son Ascanius and his father Anchises on his shoulder. They would depart from Troy and arrive in Italy, where their descendant Romulus would eventually help create the city of Rome and its inhabitants. The ashes of their forefathers and two Roman household gods are in a container that his father is carrying.
Piazzale del Museo Borghese 5, 00197 Rome Italy