Galleria dell'Accademia di San Luca

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Galleria dell'Accademia di San Luca review Rate it

The illustrious Accademia di San Luca (patron saint of artists; St Luke was said to have painted the Virgin and Child from life), housed in Palazzo Carpegno, was founded in 1577 to train artists in the grand Renaissance style. Although restoration of the gallery shows no sign of coming to an end, the porter is usually willing to let visitors sneak a look at Borromini's staircase; clever and very practical (at least for sedan chairs and mules) the elliptical brickwork ramp to the upper floors of the palace was inspired by the winding ramp inside Hadrian's mausoleum within Castel Sant'Angelo.

Access to the ramp is behind a virtuoso piece of stucco work: cornucopiae of overblown buttercups and daisies denote the riches of the earth, while crowns, mitres and chains symbolise what can be achieved by hard work in the course of a long and fortunate career. But without progeny, the allegory continues (the offspring is symbolised by a small child peering out of the herbiage), it is all worthless endeavour; it's not on record whether the few women members of the Academy, such as artistic prodigies Lavinia Fontana (1551-1614) and Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807), agreed with these sentiments.


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Galleria dell'Accademia di San Luca details

Address
Piazza dell'Accademia 77

Area Rome

Transport Bus 52, 53, 61, 62, 71, 80Exp, 95, 116, 119, 175, 492, 630, 850.

Telephone 06 679 8850

Galleria dell'Accademia di San Luca website

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