The Borgia Apartments are a suite of rooms in the Apostolic Palace
in the Vatican
, adapted for personal use by Pope Alexander VI
(Rodrígo de Borgia
). In the late 15th century, he commissioned the Italian painter Bernardino di Betto (Pinturicchio)
and his studio to decorate them with fresco
The paintings and frescoes, which were executed between 1492 and 1494, drew on a complex iconographic program that used themes from medieval encyclopedias, adding an eschatological layer of meaning and celebrating the supposedly divine origins of the Borgias. Recent cleaning of Pinturicchio
's fresco ''The Resurrection'' has revealed a scene believed to be the earliest known European depiction of Native Americans, painted just two years after Christopher Columbus
returned from the New World.
As of 2019, the suite was open to tourists.
When the Borgia family fell out of favor after the 1503 death of Pope Alexander VI, the apartments were little used for centuries. Only in 1889 did Pope Leo XIII
have the rooms restored and opened for public viewing. The works in the apartment are now considered part of the Vatican Library
Most of the rooms are now used for the Vatican Collection of Modern Religious Art
, inaugurated by Pope Paul VI
The collection includes about 600 accumulated works of painting, sculpture and graphic art; donations of contemporary Italian and foreign artists and includes works by Paul Gauguin
, Marc Chagall
, Paul Klee
, Salvador Dalí
, and Wassily Kandinsky
The upper part of the walls and vaults, covered with paintings, are further enriched with delicate stucco work in relief.Old and Sold – Antiques Digest
The main subjects of the five rooms completed by Pinturicchio are:
The Hall of the Mysteries of the Faith
The Hall of the Saints
The Hall of Trivium and of Quadrivium
*The Room of the Sibyls
Some of the remaining rooms were painted by Perin del Vaga.
*Index of Vatican City-related articles
''The Vatican: spirit and art of Christian Rome''
a book from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Libraries (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on these rooms (pp. 100–104)
Category:Official residences in Vatican City
Category:House of Borgia
Category:Paintings by Pinturicchio