Monday, 12 July 2010

The cardinal Scipione Borghese

The Young Sick Bacchus, Caravaggio
Scipione Borghese was the nephew of Paulus V, pope between 1605 and 1621. He is famous mostly because he built his palace Villa Borghese, and for having accumulated many art works. He was cardinal, maecenas and an art lover and he didn't only commission art works but sometimes he got them using also...other methods. So it was for the Young Sick Bacchus from Caravaggio. This was belonging to Cavalier d'Arpino, a painter who was one of his first masters. Since Scipione wanted to have that painting, he ordered his house to be searched and found some illegal weapons. So he arrested him and condemned to death. To get freedom the price to pay was just that Caravaggio's painting. Also for another painting, the Deposition of Raphael, the cardinal convinced the pope (his uncle) to help him in stealing it! The painting was inside the church of St. Francis in Perugia. It was taken away from the window of the church and brought to Rome. The people from Perugia started claiming that artwork back but the cardinal asked the pope to tell them that that painting was necessary to pray better in his private chapel. He then sent another version of the subject while the one from Raphael remained in his family possession.
The Deposition, Raphael