The National Gallery of Ancient Art (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica), which is located in the Palazzo Barberini in Rome, houses a wonderful collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, as well as the Italian Institute of Numismatics. Apart from the permanent collection there are often special exhibitions.
National Gallery of Ancient Art Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Via delle Quattro Fontane, 13 – Rome (tel. +39 06 4824184 or 06 42010066 (ticket office) or 06 4814591). Metro: Barberini. Opening hours: Tuesdays till Sundays fromn 08.30 till 19.00. Closed: Mondays, January 1, December 25. Last entrance is one hour before closing time. Admission: 10 Euros (which includes a visit to the Galleria Corsini); concessions 5 Euros. A visit to special exhibitions is not included in this price, but does give a discount. The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica is free on the first Sunday of the month. Special exhibitions are not.
History and description
Originally the museum, which was created in 1949 after the Italian State had acquired the Palazzo Barberini, divided its collection with the Galleria Corsini, the oldest works (up to the 17th century) being exhibited on the Piazza Barberini location.
In 1984 a reorganization took place and many more recent works found a home in the Palazzo Barberini as well.
Apart from the permanent collection, the museum also often has special exhibitions.
Highlights Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica
- La Fornarina, by Raphael.
- Judith Beheading Holofernes, by Caravaggio
- Hans Holbein’s Portait of Henry VIII
- Madonna di Corneto Tarquinia by Filippo Lippi
“La Fornarina” is one of Raphael’s most famous paintings. He painted his “Portrait of a young Woman”, as it is also called, between 1518 and 1519. According to Vasari the model was a young baker’s daughter who refused to marry the painter. Others claim that she was a prostitute. A slight swelling on her left breast has birthed a theory that she might have had breast cancer.