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The Borgia Apartments - THE  BORGIAS   wikiThe Borgia Apartments were adapted for personal use by Pope Alexander VI, the former Rodrigo Borgia.

In the late 15th century, he commissioned the Italian painter Bernardino di Betto (Pinturicchio) and his studio to decorate them with frescoes. The paintings and frescoes, which were executed between 1492 and 1494, drew on a complex iconographic programme that used themes from medieval encyclopedias, adding an eschatological layer of meaning and celebrating the supposedly divine origins of the Borgias.


The works in the apartments are now considered part of the Vatican Library.
The Borgia Apartments - THE  BORGIAS   wikiThe upper part of the walls and vaults is not only covered with paintings but is further enriched with delicate stucco work in relief. The main subjects of the five rooms completed by Pinturicchio are:

A sixth room was repainted by Perin del Vaga

The Rooms

There are a number of individual rooms in the apartment including:

  • The Room of the Sibyls
  • The Room of the Creed
  • The Room of the Liberal Arts
  • The Room of the Saints
  • The Room of the Faith
However, as the apartment was closely associated with the disgraced Borgia family, it was abandoned in 1503 after the death of Pope Alexander VI.

Entrance to Borgia Apartments

Entrance to the Borgia Apartment

Modern Use

In 1889 Pope Leo XIII had the rooms restored and opened for public viewing.

Most of the rooms are now used for the Vatican Collection of Modern Religious Art, inaugurated by Pope Paul VI in 1973.

The collection includes about 600 accumulated works of painting, sculpture and graphic art. as well as the donations of contemporary Italian and foreign artists. It includes works by Gaugin, Chagall, Klee and Kandinsky.

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