November 16, 2023 - February 11, 2024

Rome, Palazzo Barberini

The City of the Sun

An exhibition to celebrate the fourth centenary of the election of Pope Urban VIII and the publication of Il Saggiatore.

Curated by Filippo Camerota, with the collaboration of Marcello Fagiolo
Locandina della mostra
The City of the Sun

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.


Palazzo Barberini, Via delle Quattro Fontane 13, Rome
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-19:00

 Full price ticket € 7,00

 Reduced price ticket € 3,00

  • - school and non-school groups (min. 15 people)
  • - visitors aged 6 to 18
  • - holders of a Museo Galileo entrance ticket
  • - members of collaborating institutions
  • Online Ticket Office

Free admission

  • - children under 6
  • - holders of a Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica entrance ticket
  • - teachers accompanying school groups
  • - ICOM members
  • - official tour guides and interpreters on duty
  • - journalists with current ID
  • - disabled visitors and accompanying persons

Info: tel. 0552989851


Portrait of Urban VIII

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)

C. 1631

oil on canvas; 70 x 65 cm

Rome, Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini

inv. 5048


Francesco Stelluti (1577-1653) and Matthäus Greuter (1564/66-1638)

Rome, Giacomo Mascardi, 1625

engraving; 403 x 297 mm

Florence, Biblioteca Marucelliana, R.o.198

Full moon

Claude Mellan (1598-1688)


copperplate; 259 x 221 mm

Vienna, Albertina, DG12515


Portrait of Galileo Galilei

Santi di Tito (?) (1536-1603)

early 17 th century

oil on canvas; 70 x 61 cm

Grassina (FI), Collezione Alberto Bruschi

Il Saggiatore

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Rome, G. Mascardi, 1623

23 x 16,5 cm

Rome, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, 14.2.K.4

Teatro d’imprese …

Giovanni Ferro (1582-1630)

Venezia, G. Sarzina, 1623

32,5 x 24,5 cm

Rome, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, 32.10.G.15

Obeliscus olim Veranus, modo Barberinus

Joan Blaeu (1596-1673)


copperplate; 670 x 555 mm

Rome, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, 18.C.VIII.24

Eight Satyrs Admiring the Anamorphosis of an Elephant

Simon Vouet (1590-1649)


red chalk on paper; 240 x 339 mm

Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, inv. H.21.762

Arca Noe, in tres libros digesta

Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680)

Amsterdam, J. Janssonium, 1675

39,6 x 26,5 cm

Rome, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, 6.42.O.7


Trailer of the exhibition


BIG Emotion n. 7

Exhibition Catalogue co-published by Edizioni Museo Galileo and Sillabe
€ 39; special price for holders of the exhibition ticket: € 35
Guide co-published by Edizioni Museo Galileo and Sillabe
€ 12; special price for holders of the exhibition ticket: € 10