Rome, Palazzo Barberini
The City of the Sun
IN THE ROME OF URBAN VIII
Curated by Filippo Camerota, with the collaboration of Marcello Fagiolo
The fourth centenary of Pope Urban VIII’s pontificate (1623-1644) ends with an exhibition dedicated to the partnership between the arts and sciences fostered by Barberini’s patronage. Maffeo Barberini’s election was acclaimed by the scientific world as “an admirable conjuncture,” an event that would provide extraordinary opportunities for the advancement of the sciences. Enthusiasm was ignited by Pope Barberini’s good relations with the scientists of his time and, above all, by his friendship with Galileo Galilei.
One of the first scientific works that welcomed Urban VIII’s election was Galilei’s Il Saggiatore (1623), dedicated to the pontiff by the Lyncean academicians in the hope of promoting dialogue on new astronomical discoveries.
The exhibition unfolds and creatively interweaves the works by the protagonists of the three major scientific hubs in Rome—the Roman College of the Jesuits, the Accademia dei Lincei and the Convent of the Minims at Trinità dei Monti—and the work of some of the most celebrated artists of Baroque Rome, the “City of the Sun,” as it is fair to call it in reference to the Barberini pontificate.