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25 October 2022 - 29 January 2023

Timeless beauty. Stone painting in Rome between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries


The terrible devastation caused by the Sack of Rome in 1527 deluded artists and supporters that stone, unlike fragile canvases and boards, would have granted immortality to their painting works.

Sebastiano del Piombo, adopted the technique of oil painting on stone perhaps even before the terrible sacking, but due to him and to these terrible events, painting on stone became prominent. The Galleria Borghese dedicates an exhibition, curated by Francesca Cappelletti and Patrizia Cavazzini, exhibiting over 60 works from Italian and foreign museums and important private collections, to the ambition for eternity of works of art. To the timeless debate between painting and sculpture, and also materials. The extraction from the mines, their path to the artists' workshops, and their place in the collections.

Pieces similar to talismans, that magical powers of protection from physical and spiritual evils were sometimes attributed:

Adoration of the Kings (1605 - 1620) on alabaster by Antonio Tempesta or Madonna and Child with St. Francis (1605 c.) by Antonio Carracci painted on copper. Paintings on alabaster, blackboard, marble by Carlo Saraceni, Orazio Gentileschi, Cavalier d’Arpino and many others.

Images portraying female figures by the Tuscan painter Leonardo Grazia or  those dedicated to themes of poetry such as the Andromeda by Cavalier d’Arpino and Inferno with mythological aspects by Vincenzo Mannozzi.

The backgrounds of the paintings shine and reflect the images like mirrors to the viewer who, while observing it, becomes part of the work.

Paintings on dark stone for night scenes accentuate golden finishes and precious  components such as lapis lazuli, used for the sea and the sky: the color and texture of the stones contributing to the composition of the work.


The eternal debate between sculpture and painting led to the creation of extraordinary objects allowing this technique to reach a high level of refinement: Small altars, cabinets and clocks with complex architectural forms adorned with small sculptures, reliefs and painting.


Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 to 19.00.

Last admission at 5.45pm.

The ticket office is open from 8.30 until 1 hour before the museum closes.

The Gallery is closed on December 25th and January 1st.


FULL PRICE € 13.00 (last tour € 8.00) REDUCED 18-25 years € 2.00 FREE under 18s

RESERVATION REQUIRED for all  € 2.00 tickets



FULL PRICE € 13.00 (last tour € 8.00) REDUCED 18-25 years € 2.00 FREE under 18s

RESERVATION REQUIRED for all  € 2.00 tickets

Borghese Gallery and Museum

Piazzale Scipione Borghese, 5, 00197 Roma RM, Italy

Call +39068413979 Website

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