The Borgia Apartment is a suite of six rooms in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican. The rooms were used by Pope Alexander VI Borgia (r. 1492-1503) during his pontificate.
The suite is made up of the Sala dei Misteri (Room of the Mysteries), the Sala dei Santi (Room of the Saints), the Sala delle Arti Liberali (Room of the Liberal Arts), the Sala del Credo (Room of the Creed), the Sala delle Sibille (Room of the Sibyls) and the Sala dei Pontefici (Room of the Popes).
Five of the six rooms were decorated with frescoes by the Perugian artist Bernardino di Betto (1454-1513), better known as Il Pinturicchio (the little painter). With the support of a team of artists, Pinturicchio completed the frescoes in little over a year, between the autumn of 1492 and the beginning of 1494. Speed of execution was one of the qualities for which he was particularly praised.
In the painting of the Resurrection, in the Sala dei Misteri, the pope becomes a witness to the event. Dressed in a jewel-encrusted cope, he kneels, hands in prayer, in adoration. The pope is portrayed bare-headed, his tiara resting on the ground.
The Borgia Apartment was abandoned after Alexander VI's death when Pope Julius II (r. 1503-13) refused to use rooms that had been occupied by his hated predecessor.
Blogging about Rome,
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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