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Guido Reni in Rome. The Sacred and Nature

1 March - 22 May 2022

The successful return to the gallery of the work “Danza campestre” (Country Dance), a painting that belonged to Cardinal Scipione Borghese, is an opportunity for an original reflection on the landscape painting of the seventeenth century painter Guido Reni.

Country Dance (Danza campestre), 1601-1602 c. Guido Reni. Borghese Gallery
Danza Campestre. Peasants sitting in a circle among the trees, with a young man in the middle inviting a lady to open the dances

Borghese Gallery, Rome

After more than three decades since the last major Italian exhibition, the Galleria Borghese inaugurates the first exhibition dedicated to the Italian 17th century Master on the occasion of the successful return to the gallery of the painting “Danza campestre” once in the collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese , which then disappeared in the markets of the 19th century and was finally purchased by the Italian state in 2020.

The painting, after its exceptional recovery, has clearly documented a little-known aspect of the artist’s work, namely an explicit reference and sincere inspiration for painting “from life”.

Guido Reni in Rome. The Sacred and Nature

Reni’s involvement in landscape painting is visible in the exhibition of over 30 works. The influence of nature is evident from the first period of the artist’s stay in Rome, his enthusiasm for antiquity and the Renaissance , the naturalism of Raffaello , his astonishment at witnessing the painting of Caravaggio and his relations with the Scipione Borghese family.

In the exhibition Guido Reni a Roma. Il Sacro e la Natura , four imposing altarpieces welcome visitors to the ground floor in the large entrance hall: The Crucifixion of Saint Peter (1604-5), David with the head of Goliath (1605), the Trinity with the Madonna of Loreto and the commissioner Cardinal Antonio Maria Gallo (1603-4 c.). a), the Martyrdom of Saint Catherine of Alexandria (circa 1606) and the Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia (1601). Works that reveal Reni’s ability to transfuse the sacred into his bond with his patrons.

In the adjoining rooms stand out works painted between 1609 and 1620, of an intense religious and mythological character: the Strage des Innocents (1611) and St Paul rebukes St Peter penitent (around 1609), Lot and his daughters and Atalanta and Hippomenes (1615-20).

“Background Dance”

‘Dance in the Background’ a painting from around 1605, thought to be lost, then found on the London antiques market as the work of an anonymous Bolognese and ultimately attributed to Reni, is the centerpiece of the event and dominates from the Loggia del Lanfranco surrounded by paintings by Annibale Carracci , Domenichino , Francesco Albani and the Flemish but Roman by adoption Paul Bril, masters of landscape painting in 17th century Rome.

On display are the Paesaggio con la caccia al cervo (Landscape with stag hunt) by Niccolò dell’Abate, the Festa campestre (1584) by Agostino Carracci, several canvases by Paul Bril which are part of the Museum’s collection, Paesaggio con Arianna abbandonata and Paesaggio con Salmace ed Ermafrodito (1606-8 c.). a), two of the six landscapes with mythological stories by Carlo Saraceni, which were once part of the Farnese collection, of the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte.

The curator of the exhibition and director of the Galleria Borghese, Francesca Cappelletti, points out that the catalog will include suggested routes to Guido Reni’s Roman sites, in order to allow visitors to discover churches and museums that preserve other works by the artist.

Time : 

The visit lasts two hours (except for the 5:45 pm permanence) and the permanence, for a maximum of 180 people each, takes place at the following entry and exit times: 9:00 am-11:00 am; 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; 12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.; 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.; 2 p.m.-4 p.m.; 3:00 p.m.-5:00 a.m.; 4:00 p.m.-6:00 a.m.; 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.; 5:45-7:00 p.m.

Tickets : 

Full price €13.00 (last tour €8.00); reduced price 18-25 years €2.00.

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