The collection has been amassed since the 16th century, and in a similar way to many of the churches in Rome is an extravagant display of wealth and power. The opulent, ornate decoration is everywhere and competes with the actual paintings for attention.
The paintings are hung densely - salon style, fighting for your attention, and there are just so many of them that you actually begin to question the nature of collecting. Still, it is better that they are actually out on display to be admired, rather than left to languish unappreciated in storage. Gems in the Doria Pamphilj collection include this lovely Caravaggio which it was a pleasure to finally see in the flesh.
Rest On The Flight Into Egypt - Caravaggio
Another Caravaggio painting - St John the Baptist, and the various preparatory studies of it in the collection were another highlight.
St John the Baptist
The undoubted masterpiece in the Doria Pamphilj gallery is the portrait of Pope Innocent X by Diego Velazquez, regarded by many artists and critics as one of the finest portraits ever painted. There are two marble sculpture portraits by Bernini of the Pope, and a very well executed painted portrait study by Velazquez (all above). The main portrait though is important enough to be hung in it's own vestibule behind a velvet rope (below). The paint is indeed extremely well handled by Velazquez and the portrait does not seek to flatter Pope Innocent who on seeing it was said to have remarked "Troppo Vero!" (all too true!).
Palazzo Doria Pamphilj
Via Del Corso