Both Bernini and Borromini had a hand in designing the Barberini Palace, another landmark of papal patronage, containing half the National Gallery of Art. (The other half remains in the Corsini Palace on the far side of the Tiber; the collection will be united when the army officers' club vacates the ground floor of the Barberini, a move that has been pending for some 50 years.) The paintings range from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, and include masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio, and Pietro da Cortona, who also painted the spectacular ceiling fresco, "The Triumph of Divine Providence."
Newly renovated, this museum offers paintings from Italian artists, as well as Dutch and Flemish works.
Barberini Palace is another Roman palace worth visiting for its splendor and collection of art. In 1625 the Barberini family purchased the Palazzo Sforza and other properties in the area which was to be incorporated to the Barberini palace we see today in Rome. Upon the death of Carlo Maderno, the first architect of the project, Gian Lorenzo Bernini succeeded as chief architect in 1629. Bernini's is the conception of the high central "salone', which extends through two stories of the palace. The salone culminates in the great vault on which Piero da Cortona frescoed his Divine Providence, a pictorial celebration of the spiritual and temporal glories of the Barberini. Cortona also had a hand in the building of the palace complex: the largest of his contributions was the design of the theater wing, demolished in 1926 with the opening of the modern Via Barberini.When Maffeo Barberini became Pope Urban VIII in 1623 he decided to build a grand family palazzo.Bernini was commissioned to design the facade overlooking the garden and staircase. Borromini was commissioned to design the spiral staircase and windows to the top story of the palace. The most dazzling room is the Gran Salone, with its illusionist ceiling frescoes by Pietro Da Cortona. The Barberini collection is mainly of Italian painting of the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries with works by Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Lorenzo Lotto, Andrea del Sarto, Perugino, Caravaggio, Canaletto and Raphael. Judith and Holofernes: By Caravaggio. The painting was realized by the artist during his stay in Rome under the patronage of Cardinal del Monte. The strong contrast between light and shade and its tragic realism are typical of the artist's style and provoked great controversy. Et in Arcadia Ego: By Guercino - 1618 It is one of Guercino's famous paintings, representing the discovery of a skull by two young shepherd boys. The artist finds a perfect harmony between his Venetian reminiscence and his personal sensitivity.