Exhibition opens for 400th anniversary of the election of Pope Urban VIII Barberini

Bust of Urban VIII by Gian Lorenzo Bernini on display at the exhibition

ROME – On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the election to the papal throne of Urban VIII Barberini, an impressive exhibition dedicated to the longest and most representative pontificate opens Saturday, the National Galleries of Ancient Art said. 

 Curated by Maurizia Cicconi, Flaminia Gennari Santori and Sebastian Schütze, the exhibition has been produced by the National Galleries of Ancient Art with the support of the General Directorate for Museums of the Ministry of Culture and will be open in the Palazzo Barberini from Saturday until July 30.  

 The exhibition celebrates the cultural and political profile of the Pope who more than any other, had an impact on philosophical thought, scientific knowledge and the arts in the 17th century, with the aim of illustrating the ways in which the pontiff favoured the instrument of cultural hegemony as a function of political and governmental action.

 "This exhibition represents the culmination of research work that has lasted many years, marking an important milestone in the path of comparison and exchange with Italian and foreign museum institutions that I have pursued since I took office," says Flaminia Gennari Santori, director of the museum and co-curator of the exhibition, who continues, "In fact, there are many museums, collectors and institutions with which we have established relations in recent years, who have understood the importance of the project and enthusiastically adhered by granting prestigious loans.”

 For the first time, masterpieces of Pope Urban VIII’s period are reunited once again in Palazzo Barberini. 

 Masterpieces from the Barberini collection, which are now conserved in the world's major museums, are returning to their original location. Works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Caravaggio, Valentin de Boulogne, Francesco Mochi, Nicolas Poussin, Andrea Sacchi and some of the spectacular tapestries produced by the Barberini Tapestry Workshop are also on display.

 In addition to the masterpieces, books, prints, objects, the extremely refined antiquarian collection and the great family tapestries will contribute to bringing the period to life for a modern-day viewer. 

 More than 80 works from the museum’s collections and from over 40 museum institutions and private Italian and international collections are on display.