When I first heart of the Galleria Doria Pamphili, I didn't know too much about it, but I soon became very consused. As I began to research it, I found Palazzo Doria Pamphili, Villa Pamphili, Parco Pamphili, and Galleria Doria Pamphilij. It seemed that nobody knew what to call the place! It became even more confusing when I realized that this art gallery was not actually located anywhere near the Pamphili park, like I had originally thought.
There is a second Palazzo Doria-Pamphilj, but this is a summer villa, just outside of Rome in Valmontone. Be careful not to confuse this with the Palazzo Pamphilj, in Piazza Navona either.
The museum ticket came with an audio guide, which helped to explain all my questions. Camillo Pamphilj married the widowed Olimpia Borghese (more on the Borghese family later) on February 10, 1647. Olimpia already owned this palace, but called it the Palazzo Aldobrandini. When the two got married, she brought the palace into her new family and changed its name to Pamphili.
Andrea IV Doria Pamphilj Landi and Princess Leopoldina Maria of Savoy married in 1767, then had the palace rennovated so they could live there. It is actually still privately owned by the super wealthy Roman family, Doria Pamphilj, and still holds stately events there. In fact, as I was leaving, the caterers were just beginning to set up for a dinner.
This gallery holds artwork by Raphael, Tiziano, Caravaggio, and Bernini. The collection started in 1644 and has been growing ever since. It currently has around 400 paintings from the 15th to the 18th century.
The most famous artwork is the Portrait of Pope Innocent X, by Velázquez, which shows this pope in a more sinister way than other portraits. Velázquez, unlike other artists who tried to soften his features, wanted to show Pope Innocent X exactly as he was. This, of course let to many controversies.
Not only does the palace hold actual art, but it is actually a work of art in and of itself. The ceilings are covered in frescoes from the 16th century. Glass chandeliers hang in every hall and the mirrors are framed with real gold. The first wing was designed in what is known as "Chinese style" whereas the fourth wing is classical style.
My favorite part was the Christmas tree. I certainly cannot imagine celebrating Christmas here, but it was a festive touch. The ornaments matched the walls quite nicely.
While this art gallery may not be the first thing a person wants to do in Rome, it certainly was enjoyable. If anything, go here just to admire the art in peace instead of being hearded like sheep through the Vatican museums.
Price: 12 € or 8 € for students and seniors
Hours: 9 am – 7 pm daily
Address: Via del Corso, 305