In the mid-seventeenth century Cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna commissioned the Colonna Gallery, a real jewel of the Roman Baroque. The inauguration took place in 1700 by Philip II, son of Lorenzo Onofrio. The original project was by the architect Antonio del Grande, but the touch of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Paolo Schor and Carlo Fontana followed in the last decade of the century. The Gallery was conceived as a large hall of representation that glorified the victory of the Christian fleet over the Turks in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, during which Marcantonio II Colonna triumphed. In fact, the entire decoration of the Gallery is dedicated to him and the magnificent frescoes of the Great Hall, made by Coli and Gherardi, represent the important historical event. Linked to the story are also the frescoes of the Hall of Passages, with the extraordinary "Allegory of the battle" dating back to the eighteenth century, and the Hall of the Column, rich in details on the celebration of Marcantonio II and his apotheosis.
In addition to the pictorial masterpieces of Tintoretto, Guido Reni, Pietro da Cortona and others that make it a real jewel, the Gallery presents ancient marbles and Baroque-inspired frames. The magnificent and precious chests in wood and precious stones stand out, examples of inestimable value of the processing of ebony and ivory.
Another unparalleled wonder of the Gallery is the apartment of Princess Isabelle, a wing of the building dating back to the fifteenth century that was the residence of Pope Martin V. Among the main attractions of the apartment are the frescoes of Bernardino di Betto, better known as the Pinturicchio, and the subsequent decorations produced by Gaspard Dughet and Carlo Cesi. Nordic painting also finds its own space here thanks to the paintings of Brueghel the Elder and the views of Van Wittel, here preciously preserved and today exposed. The apartment owes its name to Princess Isabelle Colonna who stayed there until 1984: her grandchildren wanted to dedicate thiswing with such a significant past and such a sumptuous appearance.