8. The Aldobrandini art collections

Quadro Sacra Famiglia

Perin del Vaga: Holy Family (Musée Condé, Chantilly). This beautiful painting in the mannerist style was part of the collection of paintings on display in the Villa Aldobrandini in the 17th Century.

In the 17th Century a great number of antique marble sculptures decorated the garden and the interior of the Villa Aldobrandini. Also the collection of paintings, started by Pietro Aldobrandini and augmented by his decendants, was housed in the Villa Aldobrandini. The detailed inventories drawn up at that time give an idea of the impressive collection comprising works by the old masters, including Bassano, Giovanni Bellini, Bronzino, Correggio, Annibale Carracci, Cavalier d’Arpino, Domenichino, Dosso Dossi, Dürer, Garofalo, Giorgione, Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea Mantegna, Michelangelo, Palma il Vecchio, Peruzzi, Pontormo, Primaticcio, Andrea del Sarto, Raphael, Guido Reni, Giulio Romano, Tintoretto, Titian, Pierin del Vaga and Veronese.

Le nozze Aldobrandini

A special place in the collection was occupied by the famous fresco of the 1st Century B.C. known as the "Aldobrandini Wedding" now in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.
A rather complex series of events conditioned the destiny of the Aldobrandini family in subsequent centuries. The premature deaths of the male descendants lead to the extinction of the family name. In 1638 Olimpia, the sole surviving descendent, became member of another noble Roman family on her marriage to Paolo Borghese. As a result of hereditary vicissitudes, the family property (villa, garden and art collections) came into the possession of the Pamphili family in the mid 17th Century, but eventually returned to the Borghese family, one of whose members changed his name to Aldobrandini in 1837, thereby restoring the Aldobrandini name to a new branch of the family which still survives today. Following the transfer into various residences, sales and hereditary divisions over the years a large part of the Aldobrandini art collection was dispersed. Many of the most important paintings and sculptures are in the major art galleries of the world, as are the numerous statues which adorned the villa and garden.


"Autumn" by Pietro and Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1562-1629 and 1598-1680)

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