The Palazzo Farnese was built for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1468-1549) by the Florentine architect Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1484-1546).
In 1534, Cardinal Farnese became Pope Paul III (r. 1534-49) and the size of the palazzo was significantly increased. The pope called in Michelangelo (1475-1564) to redesign the third storey and provide the beautiful stone cornice, which is decorated with lilies, the heraldic emblem of the Farnese family.
Two other architects, Vignola (1507-73) and Giacomo della Porta (1532-1602), would be employed before the Palazzo Farnese was finally completed at the end of the 16th century.
Several of the main rooms of the Palazzo Farnese are decorated with frescoes, such as the Sala d'Ercole (Hercules Room) and the Sala del Mappamondo (Map Room). However, the most famous frescoes are to be found in the Galleria Farnese. They are the work of Annibale Caracci (1560-1609) and depict the Loves of the Gods.