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After having displayed works by Lucio Fontana and Zhang Enlin, the comparison between ancient and contemporary art reopens at the Borghese Gallery where Francesca Cappelletti, director since autumn 2020, will finally be able to host other two very special guests: Damien Hirst and Guido Reni.

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Damien Hirst and Guido Reni, two major figures of Art History, will be the next protagonists of a non-stop dialogue between the complexities of contemporary art and the artistic magnificence of the past. The 2021 newly revealed exhibition programme of Galleria Borghese in Rome will be characterized by sign of these two great masters. 

Damien Hirst

The season will officially open in May 2021 with “Damien Hirst” (on show from 10 May to 10 October). The exhibition will be curated by Anna Coliva and Mario Codognato, and it will feature the works of the enfant terrible of the British art: as in an exquisite Wunderkammer, oversize and very small sculptures will be exposed, and everything will be made of precious materials such as bronze, Carrara marble and malachite. Among the showcased artworks, Colour Spacepaintings will be inserted into the flow of the permanent collection, mixing the boundaries between past and present in a game of references and contrasts.

Specifically conceived for the rooms of Galleria Borghese and focusing on the idea of collecting, the exhibition will bring a remarkable number of works realized by Hirst himself for the impressive and provocative series Treasure from the Wreck of Unbelievable. The project was among the major exhibitions scheduled for 2020 and postponed due to the health emergency of Covid19 pandemic. Now it is finally ready to go on stage, hosted in an increasingly research oriented museum, led by the new director Cappelletti.


Damien Hirst, from “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable”, Courtesy of Tripandjoy.


Guido Reni

The second major event at the Roman museum spins around Guido Reni's Danza Campestre, the painting originally owned by Galleria Borghese Collection, successively disappeared for over a century, and recently rediscovered and purchased by the institution last December. From November 2021 to February 2022, BALLIAMO? Guido Reni a Roma. Danza e Paesaggiowill take place alongside other Baroque jewels by the painter linked to the Borghese patronage. The exposition will also incorporate other masterpieces by artists such as Annibale Carracci and Domenichino, aimed for recording investigation and experimentations with landscape as a pictorial genre during the early 17thcentury.


Guido Reni, Danza Campestre, Courtesy of Galleria Borghese.


Cover image: Galleria Borghese’s facade, Courtesy of Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0

Written by Elena Parcianello

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