The gallery was founded by Cardinal Girolamo I Colonna, the son of the Contestabile Filippo and Lucrezia Tomacelli; it was built between 1654 and 1655 as designed by the architect Antonio Del Grande, but was completed after his death in 1671 by Girolamo Fontana and inaugurated by Filippo Colonna in 1703.
The collection of art works gathered in the gallery initiated in the Seventeenth century and later increased by Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna consists of sculptures from the Roman age and several paintings ranging from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth century.
Among the various exhibition rooms of the Gallery, the great hall is particularly noteworthy because together with the preceding and the following rooms, it forms a complex which is more than 70 meters long and has an impressive visual effect.
The fresco decoration of the vault was done by the Roman artists Giovanni Paolo Schor, his son Filippo and Laura Bernasconi,(1665-1670), while the five paintings depicting the stories of Marcantonio II are by Giovanni Colli and Filippo Gherardi (1675-1678) and they represent: the Battle of Lepanto, the entrance of Marcantonio II in Rome and St. Pius V appointing him as commander of his fleet, the placing of the statue of Marcantonio in Campidoglio and the Doge of Venice that gathers his council in order to defeat the Turks.The walls of the hall are divided by couples of Corinthian pillars of ancient yellow marble, which bear friezes of golden stucco representing trophies and panoplies.
The large Venetian mirrors are decorated with figures of cherubs created by Maratta and with flowers by Mario de’ Fiori. Some gilded console tables and ancient statues are located in the hall, which is illuminated by large Murano chandeliers. Some painting sin the gallery deserve special mention, such as: The eater of beans by Annibale Carracci, the Portrait of the Cardinal Pompeo Colonna by Agostino Carracci, another Portrait of the Cardinal Pompeo Colonna by Lorenzo Lotto, a Portrait of Onofrio Panvinio by Titian, Cain and Abel by Pier Francesco Mola, the Annunciation with the Archangel Gabriel by Guercino, the Assumption of the Virgin by Rubens and two paintings by Salvator Rosa representing a Self-portrait of the artist in the semblance of St. John the Baptist and A sermon of the Baptist.
Address Via della Pilotta, 17
Visiting Hours Saturday from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm; Closed August
Telephone 06 6784350; Fax 06 6794638
Price € 7,00; concessions € 5,50