Galleria Doria Pamphilj

Pope Innocent X (c. 1650) by Velázquez at the Galleria Doria Pamphilj
Pope Innocent X (c. 1650) by Velázquez at the Galleria Doria Pamphilj

Alongside the Windsors and the Gettys, the Doria Pamphilj family has the best private art collection in the world, boasting works by most of the great names of the Renaissance. This Roman dynasty has been marrying, inheriting, and buying its way toward the collection since the 16th century.

On entering the museum, you’re immediately transported far from the traffic on the Via del Corso. The Poussin Room, filled with sensual landscapes, drops you into an entirely new world. And it gets better, with a ballroom the producer of a costume drama could only fantasize about, a chapel with a family mummy and then, at the very heart of the palace, the four gilded galleries that run round the light-filled courtyard.

Velázquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X (a member of the family) is the star, the light splashing on his crimson sash against the lightless depths of the damask drapery behind. Then there’s Titian’s Salomé, a girl far too virtuously beautiful to be carrying the head of St.

John the Baptist on a plate. Other treasures of the collection include works by Raphael, Filippo Lippi, Caravaggio, Titian, and a bewitching landscape with dancing figures by Claude Lorrain.

If you can, visit the Galleria Doria Pamphilj at dusk, just as the lights come on, and marvel as the light dances between the ornate glass chandeliers and the gilded mirrors.

Practical Information

Address Via Corso 305

Getting There The nearest metro stop is Colosseo, on Line B. The Via Corso is used by dozens of bus routes.

Opening Times 10am–5pm daily.

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