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Custodian of the Papal Museums and Galleries 
Formerly Honorare Custodian of these rooms, 




7^ \/(c 


Copy Tight secufced 

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The Borgia Apartments. 


The main door to the Borgia apartments is in the 
first story of the galleries around the St. Damasus court, 

| on the left side of the railing at the entrance to the 

corridor of inscriptions. The apartments are below the 
Raphael rooms, at the foot of the great theater of the 
Belvedere court, consisting of a suite of six large rooms 
with Windows facing northward. 

The first four were already built by Pope Nicolaus V, 
and it is thought, the first is even of older date, if it be 

I true what Platina says in his Lives of the Popes, that 

there were frescos by Giotto upon the fagades, of which 
Vasari also makes mention in his Life of John of Udine. — 

| Venice, Antonelli, voi. XIII, pag. 38. 

The fifth and sixth rooms, on the other hand, which 
are in the Borgia tower, were built by Pope Alexander VI. 
who had ali of them painted and lived in them, hence. 
the apartments were called after him. 


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Such apartments were then a thing of such wonderful 

majesty, richness in art, and consummate loveliness, that 

bardly anything similar was ever seen in modem times. — 

But in the terrible sackage of Rome, under Pope Cle- 

ment VII in the year 1527, the mercenaries of Charles 

de Bourbon having taken quarters in them, the walls have 

beeji: rnpsj; barbarously disfigured, some marks of it re- 

maimng*yet in names, scrawled upon them with nails. 

;^u(iseédÌ9g*\P(5Bes, howerer, at least till the middle of 
***** ri •••*••/ 

the sixtfe'enth céntury and beyond, have inhabited them, 
when residing in the Vatican. Làter on, they were almost 
forgotten, until Pope Pius Vili, at the beginning of 
the present century, made an attempt to reopen them, 
placing in them a collèction of paintings. For some 
reason or other, the pictures were not left there long, 
but were transferred elsewhere, and the rooms remained 
empty and closed. 

The now reigning PontifF, Leo 'XIII, having lately 
restored them, with provident care, I thought it would 
interest visitors, to view them intelligently with the help 
of this guide and admire their remarkable beauty. — 


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It is rectangular in form, having a length of m. 18,06 * 
and width of m. 11,72; it is called Popes' Room because, 
originally, there were in the lunettes of the arched ceil- 
ing pictures of severa! Popes, the most marked events 
of whose reign are recorded by inscriptions above them. 
The pictures have been painted over in scallop shells, 
in chiaroscuix) of a yellowish tint, whilst the inscriptions 
yet remain. Under the inner arch of the door is the 
escutcheon of Pope Pius IV of the Medici family. The 
imposts are marbleized in antique yellow and other va- 
ri eties of marble. In the corresponding opposite corner 
is the entrance to the second room. On the right are two 
Windows giving upon the Belvedere court. Fach win- 
dow has a marble cross, doublé casements of walnut, 
which are glazed with peaked circular cristals, called 
rulli di Venezia. There are two seats in each window 

The Borgia Apartments. 

I. Room. 

Called Room of the Popes. 

6 — 

Teeess, ikér srarfacés in mqsate, Betweea these Windows* 
was a door, giving access to the balcony, extending the 
length of the first four rooms. The window recesses are 
yet decorated as of old with black and white graphite- 
candelabra in the centres, clustered by fanciful designa 
of cupids, birds and pieces of armor. Under the arches 
are the arms, in colors, of St. Charles Borromeo, nephew 
of Pius IV, supported by genii among foliage and strea- 
mers, in graphite. These antique decorations were brought 
to light in the recent restauration of the rooms. 

The walls are now covered, ali around, with can- 
vass, so nothing of the remains of former decorations- 
landscapes - can now be seen. The pendants of the vaul- 
ted ceiling, formerly resting upon painted Caryatides, 
have now fresco chaptrels in antique yellow, with wide 
borders of fanciful carving. Upon each are grouped tro- 
phies of arms: morions, shields, spears, halberds and 
swords. A broad border of portasanta contiects these pi- 
lasters, instead of the former molded frieze. Upon it 
also are suspended, in tastéful variety, ancient helmets, 
corselets, crossed brands, mazes, carbines and muskets. 
Hauberks and diverse coats of mail are also placed in 
the fans, above. The squares between the chaptrels are 
now hung with tapestry of ancient date, six in ali, upon 
the windowless sides of the room. They carne from the 
papal wardrobes of the Floreria. Whilst no one knew, 
what tale the pictures upon them are meant to teli, no 
indication of it being found even in the inventories, I, 


to meet the desire of the curious, after loilg and patient 
study, believe to have succeeded in guessing a right the 
story, they were intended to teli. Well then? 

The three nearest the entrance present the fabled 
story of Cephalus and Procris. In the first, from the 
door, you see Aurora who carries off Cephalus, being 
out hunting on mount Hymettus. s Night is seen above^ 
sleeping. Twilight - Crepusculus - peeps' forth, at early 
dawn, at Sol, holding aloft his flaming torch. The one 
next to it shows you Cephalus holding on his knees Pro- 
cris, his betrothed whom he had wounded with a dart. 
In the small square below, to the left,, you see Procris 
hiding behind a busth, and Cephalus, standing off, taking 
aim at her. In the upper right corner appears Aurora 
to Cephalus, who invokes her. In the third is Cephalus 
recalling Procris. In the centro he is on his knees be- 
fore her, begging her to come back to him. In the cor- 
ner, to the right, we see him again prostrate before her, 
entreating her to return to him. She, conquered at last 
by his prayers, hands him back his dart, a sign of re- 
conciliation. On the left, Cephalus embraces his spouse 
Procris, who is now happily appeased, whilst above stands 
Diana presenting to Procris a bow with arrow and a 

Upon the remaining three pieces, opposite the en- 
trance, seems to be worked the celebration of nuptials, 
no special mark whatever showing, who are the happy 
couple in the premises. However, nothing hinders us. 

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to believe it to be the marriage of the same Cephalus 

anà Procris. This is so much more likely, as we see 

two personages, in the middle, wearing royal diadems, 

of whom one might be Procris, the other her royal 

father Erechtheus, who was king of Athens. But, lea- 

ving aside the question of identity, it is quite clear what 

the designs mean. So, on the first, opposite the second 

window, we see- a wedding banquet, on the next is shown 

the celebration of the marriage rjte in the tempie, whilst 

the one nearest to the door of the second room gives a , 

look into the bridad chamber, where the spouse is being 

undressed by her maid, the bridegroom standing in at- 

tendance. Night hovers above , lighting the hymeneal 

torch. , j 

Between the two Arrazzi; opposite the Windows, is 
fastened a piece of textile fabric of many colored silk, 
fringed with similar. material. And here, against the , 
drapery, is erected the bust of the Supreme Pontìff 
Leo XIII, by whose munificence the apartments have 
been restored. It is the work of Prof. Joseph Ugolini; 
it stands upon a pilaster of quadrangular form, with be- 
velled edges, ornate with rich half-relieves. The base 
of the pilaster is rounded off and sculptered, resting upon 
a die of white marble, inlaid with bright colored panels 
of marble, ali of it the work of Cav. Paul Medici after 
the design of Vespignani. 

In the wall, directly apposite, between the two Win- 
dows, is a walled up door, which led upon the balcony. 

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ivi i t a vmhI i| ih | 1 J 

— 9 — 

It is njasked by two wings of walnut, witb panels of 
pretty in-laid work. This was done by Alexander Mon- 
teneri of Perugia, who copied it after the antique ori- 
ginai in the church of St. Peter, of the Benedictine 
montes ontside the town of Perugia. The artist of the 
originai is Fra Dainian Qf Bergamo, Dominican, in the 
year*1536. In the left upper panel is the Ànnuncia- 
tion of the Blessed Virgin , at the right Moses saved 
from the water. In the centres are the heads of SS. Peter 
and Paul. Below, on both panels, is the scene of St. Peter, 
walking upon the water, towards the Lord. In the fan 
is hung a piece of texture similar to the one opposite, 
at the back of the monument. Upon it is a marble ta- 
blet which records to posterity the work of restauration 
of these apartments, viz: 



At the the base of the walls runs a border, in ma- 
bleized panels, similar in design and color to the one, 
which was there of old, even the faulty marble imita- 

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tions of the antique have been fbllowed, in order to re- 
produce exactly the originai appearance. 

There is no forniture in the room except two show 
càses, in the corners opposite to the Windows, wherein 
are exhibited the complete armors of, it is said, Julius II 
and Charles de Bourbon. The floor is tessellated with 
small enameled bricks, mostly diamond shaped, after the 
spanish fashion of the sixteenth century. They are or- 
namented with flourishes and foliage in white, green, 
orange, blue and black, upon wite ground. The same 
have been copied after the ones formerly in the corri- 
dors of the St. Damasus court and after those, yet exist* 
ing in the villa of Pius VI, in the Vatican gardens. 
They form equilatera! crosses, octagons, squares, hexa- 
gons, pentagons, rightangles, rhombs, triangles and cir- 
cles. Some of these desigjns are bordered by white and 
red, naturai colored, bricks in roman style, of the same 
epoch, laid in various guise, so that they produce the 
effect of mosaic in terra cotta. The whote is bordered 
by an ornamentai band of the same kind of bricks, ali 
of it according to the design of Count Francis Vespignani, 
architect to His Holiness. They vere furnished by the 
works of ceramics of the Musenm of Art and Industry, 
in Naples, under direction of Prof. John Tesorone, and 
they offer to the view such a gay and lively picture, 
as is beyond praise Be it said also, that this floor was 
finished the 3 d of March 1897, the anniversary of the 
coronation of the Holy Father, Leo XIII, with which 

the work of the restauratila df ali these rooms termi* 

Now, after having looked at every thing below and 
around us, let us lift our eyes on high, to contemplate the 
ceiling. omamented by Pierin del Vaga anc^ Giovanni da 
Udine, scholars of Raffael, at the time of Leo X. The 
ceiling is a somewhat fiat vault with ten depressions 
towards the walls, ending in pendants with their limbs 
in marble cornice. On it we behold the seven greater 
planets, the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and some hea- 
venly constellations, which shall be more fully explained, 
as we turn from the right to the left, remarking, once 
for ali, that in saying this we always mean the right 
and left of thè beholder. 

Beginning with the pictures of the ceiling against 
the Windows, in the ovals of the pendants we see Giove 
upon a car drawn by eagles, and Mars upon one drawn 
by horses. In the squares and rightangles above, are 
the signs Sagittarius, Fishes, Swan, Scorpi on and Aries. 
Upon the part opposite the entrance, in the ovai between 
the two fans of the ceiling, is the constellation Argo, 
over it the planet Venus, the sign Leo, at the sides of 
Venus* is Taurus and Libra, ali in afresco, except Venus, 
which is in plaster, in mezzo rilievo. Again, over the 
two Windows, to the left, is Mercury upon a biga drawn 
by cocks, to the right, Diana, drawn by nymphs. Above 
these, in a row, are the Twins, Virgin, Eagle, Scorpion, 
and Dogstars. Above the entrance are Ursa Major, stili 

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— 12 — 

higher Satura with the Waterman aad Capricorn, right ' 
and left, whilst near the centre is Apollo, on a car drawn 
by four borses. 

The four corners of the ceiling are decorated by a 
trophy in stucco, repeated in each, composed of a py- 
ramid in figures of boys, festoons, birds and the like with 
the family device of Leo X, by whose munificence the 
vault was painted. The centre piece of the vault, in 
a blue circle, shows four winged Victories, dancing with 
liiiked hands, in consummate grace, their transparent dra- 
peries permitting a view of the exquisitely formed limbs 
and arms. They hold aloft the tiara, trurapet, censer 
and shield with the family arms of the Medici. 

Called Life of the Madonna and Christ. 

This room is called so, because of the principal events 
being represented of Christ and the Virgin in our re- 
demption. It is m. 10.47 in length and m. 8.55 wide. 
It has a door opposite the one of entrance ; one window 
at the right, which lights it; and in the left corner, op- 
posite the window is a small closet door, towards the 
right corner a chimney. The walls, in which the coni- 

li. Room. 

— 13 — 

municating doors are, have in the middle, one a pilaster 
in relief, the other opposite, one in design. The ceiling 
is gothic, with heavy centrai arch, right and left to it 
are acute angled cross-springers, forming où each side 
two fans besides the two, which stand for each end. 

The walls are painted in light emerald green, with 
golden network upon it. On each square of the walls 
is painted a wall closet, tabernacle like, whilst on top 
runs, ali around, a doublé molding, the one narrow of 
purple in a grecian pattern, in white chiaroscuro and 
gold, the other broader, dark blue,.formed in similar 
style, is entwined with beading ànd foliage, ali in white 
chiaroscuro and gold. The funny little closets are fight- 
angular with greek portico prospects, matching the de- 
signs of the room. They show a small escutcheon of 
Pope Borgia, with streamers, upon the background. * 

Over the chimney is painted an ampie curtain, in 
folds of flowered stuff, in different colors upon white* 
At the top is a crown with festoons in plaster on each 
side, with the arms of Alexander VI painted in the 
centre. The chimney front is new, in columns, archi- 
trave, border and cornice sculptured in white marble, 
without any emblem, whilst the old one bore the arms 
of said Pontiff, supported by two genii. The pilasters, 
supporting the centrai arch, are decorated with grand 
candelabra in varions colors, with designs of babes, 
sphinxes, masks, dolphins, birds and other fanciful crea- 
tions, beautifully grouped. ' 

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~ 14 ~ 

At the sides of the pilasters and in the four cornerà 
of the room , are bands in white chiaroscuro , touched 
with gold, upon green and vermilion ground. To the 
ieft of the chimney is the opening to a closet, possibjy 
used as a wardrobe. There are some decorations visible 
yet about ite exterior parte, the inside is blank. Similàr 
deeorations are seen upon the door poste; the emblem 
of Pope Borgia, in gilt, is upon ite inner arch, whilst 
on the outeide, upon the architrave, is the shield of 
Nicolas V, in sculpturel white marble, as we have ai- 
ready mentioned. 

The window, giving upon the Belvedere, is similar 
to the ones in the first room. Ite recósses are deco- 
rated with tali candelabra, in the arch are three me- 
dallions, the one in the centro with the Borgia arms, 
the companions with the Borgia devises: the coronet 
with rays, in champ vert, the vermilion tongues of fire 
upon dark sand. There are also two window seats with 
smooth marble tops, upon a step. The door, communi- 
cating with the third room, has a marble arch and poste, 
sculptured. In the ogee are the Borgia arms, surrounded 
with laurei wreath, supported by genii. 

The work is carelessly done, for formerly it was 
covered with stucco, painted and gilt. Around the top 
of the walls runs a broad marble cornice with a festoon 
of carved fruite and flowers, which was formerly partly 
gilt and painted. Under it are a row of hooks, serving 
for the draperies, as occasion required. Above are six 

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— 15 — 

great lunettes, of which the oue opposite the Windows is 
divided in two. Oa the left half is represented the An- 
nunciation of the Blessed Virgin, on the right, the birth 
of Christ. On it the Divine Babe is of surpassing love* 
liness. In the ogive are the arms of Alexander VI, sup- 
porta by three angels. To the right is the Epiphany, 
the Blessed Virgin, in graceful pose, with the Babe 
standing upon ber lap, blessing the Magi. Then fòllows 
the Resurrection with Pope Alexander VL kneehng in 
pontificai attire to the left. Over the window is the 
Ascension into heaven, and over the door of ingress is 
the Descent of the Holy Ghost and next to it is the As- 
sumption, where the figure in red is believed to repre- 
sent the^duke Valentino. The main arch is covered with 
gilt stucco. It divides as we said the ceiling longitudi- 
nally, each part with cross springers in acute angles, in 
which small disks sbow the heraldic devises of the Borgia 
arms, and the four medallions between the widening 
ribs bear busts of prophets, as legeud holders, explana- 
tory of the events portrayed in the lunettes. Thus, the 
prophet Malachy points toward the Annunciation ; David, 
to the Nativity; Isaias, towards the Epiphany; Solomon, 
to the Assumption. Similarly, on the other half of the 
ceiling appear Ieremias, Sophonias, Micheas and Ioel. 
Pictures as well as decorations are the work of Ber- 
nardin Betti of Perugia, called Pinturicchio, disciple of 
Peter Perugino and fellow student of Raphael. 

On the floor is an admirable pavement of enameled 

majolica, after the originai floors of th9se rooms, in some 
of which were yet found a few remnants, the shapes and 
còlors of which were copied in the present material. AH 
of it wos furnished by the works of the Museum of Art 
and Industry in Naples, like in the preceding room, under 
the direction of Count Vespignani, The blocks only dififer 
somewhat in forni and color, so as to .give the idea, that 
ìt is the originai pavement, somewhat faded and used up 
in the course of timo. It must be considered a very 
felicitons imitatioìi. 

III. Room. 

Called the Life of the Saints. 

It measures m. 10.56 in length and m. 8.46 in width. 
It is painted with scenes from the lives of saints, hence 
its name. Its form is like the preceding room, but the 
decorations are vastly different. The door posts show their 
surfaces embelished by painted chandeliers, with figures 
in colors. Their centre piece is a sbield with AL. BO. 
VAL. upon it, which stands for Alexander Borgia Va- 
lentino. Same .thing in the arch. The door, leading to 
the next room, is similar to the one of the second room; 
In the window recess are toarble seats upon a step, 

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— 17 — 

great candelabro in colora with flgures of men, beasts, 
fauns, dolphins etc. upon the sides; in the arch, arms of 
Borgia, flanked by warrior and lady in stucco. The walls 
are hung with canvass, painted in patterns of old rep, by 
Cav. Frenguelli, after the style of some fragments of 
the originai hahgings, left upon these walìs. The pieces 
are ali of different shade and pattern, seven in ali. AU 
have a handsome border, corded scarf fashion. At the 
bottom, the hangings are tucked into a wainscot, ter- 
minating in chest-benches of walnut, brought hither from 
the ancient scriptorium of the Apostolic Library, where 
they had been placed by Siytus- V. The same are, ac- 
cording to Niby, (Roma Moderna voi. II, pag. 215), the 
work of Fra Giovanni da Verona, lay brother of the Oli- 
vetani ; others are of opinion, that they were first in the 
library, arranged by Siytus IV, where now the Florerìa 
is locateci, viz, on the floor below these appartments. They 
have been restored, not long ago, by Cav. Raphael Ve- 
spignani of Imola, wood-carver and special artist in such 
kind of work. By this wainscotting, be it remarked, 
is now covered the ancient chimney, which formerly 
was opposite the window. The middle of the walls, in- 
which the doors are, is divided by two pillars in full 
relief, egregiously painted, though somewhat faded. On 
them are two great candelabra with flgures of animals, 
babes, pieces of armor with a shield on which is 
written: Alexander PP. VI Pont. Max., on the top, 
Fama in the act of sounding two trumpets, with strea- 


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— 18 — 

mers, on which are the Borgia emblems ; ali surmounted 
by a chandelier with six curved branches, an axe on 

Over the entrance, in a fram3d ovai, is an image 
of the Madonna by Pinturicchio ; the former decoration 
of the frame in stucco is spoiled. There are hooks around 
the top of the walls for hangings; over them runs a 
rich molding in marble, decorated with carvings, among 
which is a medallion with the bust and name of Ale- 
xander VI. It is to the left of the entrance. Above 
the cornice, in six lunettes, are most beautiful paintings 
of the same master. The one opposite the window shows 
St. Catharine disputing before the emperor Maximin. 
The next, to the right, St. Anthony, Abbot, visiting 
St. Paul, the Hermit. Horned demons, in the shape of 
worfien, are hovering about the saints, tempting them. 

Next to it, at the right of the arch, is the Visit of 
the Blessed Virgin to Elisabeth. Over the window, the 
martyrdom of St. Sebastian. On this picture, left side 
up, one sees the Colosseum, already partly in ruins. This 
shows, how unjustly Paul III, Farnese, is accused of hav- 
ing committed the vandalism, to build him a palace, the 
same having been elected Pope thirty years after the 
painting of this picture. Over the door is St. Iuliana, 
conducted to her martyrdom. Further on, beyond the 
arch, is seen St. Barbara, escaping from the tower, in 
which ber father had imprisoned her, The father looks 
upon the opened gate in frantic fury. 


JJp° n the vault is the story of Isis and Osiris, with 
the apparition of the sacrod bull Apis - in glorification 
of the bull in the Borgia arms. The vault is halved by 
the main arch, so that upon each half are five octagons 
tyith the following pictures. First, in the middle, the 
love making of Isis and Osiris; in the next looking, with 
your back to the window, you see the arrivai of Isis in 
Egypt, meeting Osiris; in the next, a little lower, is Mer- 
cury, with his reed-pipe, putting to sleep Argus, whom 
Iuno had ordered to watch Io, transformed into a heifer. 
To the left of the arch, in the first picture, is Isis upon 
a throne commanding as queen ; in the second . below, 
Mercury, who cuts off the head of sleeping Argus. Along 
the arch, on the window side, are represented other 
feats of Isis and Osiris. Near the window, the marriage 
of Isis with Osiris ; to the rigbt, Osiris teaching his people 
the tilling of the land ; following is the cultivation of the 
grape vine, over the window; the appiè harvest, over 
the door of entrance. Up, opposite to the window, turn- 
* ing to the right, is the death of Osiris, the finding of 
his body, cut to pieces, the apparition of the bull Apis, 
after the death of Osiris, and the sacred bull carried in 

The material of the floor carne from the same works, 
mentioned in the description of the preceding rooms. 
The design, in form, has followed the imprints of the 
ancient tiling, found in the mortar, which had been little 
disturbed ; some fragments of the originai tiles furnished 

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— 20 — 

the idea of the coloring of the present ones. The pa- 
( vement is laid in rectangular divisions. Some of them 
contam rhombs of crossed foliage, in blue upon white, 
others with studs in the centre, surroundcd by lines. AH 
of it similar to the pavement of the preceding room* 
Every quadrangle has a border of small squares with 
green foliage. 

It is like the two preceding rooms, and is m. 10.55 
long, m. 8.34 wide. Its floor is a span lower, than in 
the others. The imposts of the entrance doorway are 
painted in colored marble panels, as also its arch; the 
window recess has two candelabra, its arch, on three 
square panels the armorial devises of Alexander VI on 
the centre, flanked by two octagon rosettes. 

To the right of the entranee is a door frame in 
rectangular forai, in simply sculptured marble; opposite 
the window is a big chimney of the XV century, with 
emblems of Bacchus upon the face, of Mars upon the 
sides, with a larg canopy, painted in damask imitation 
upon the wall, draping the chimney. The walls are pain- 

IV. Room. 

The Liberal Aris and Sciences. 

ted in panels of various marble with borders of tracery, 
and foliage with flowers iu white chiaroscuro; the cen- 
tres show the arms of Borgia in rhombs, or here and 
there, ovals, with the flaming crown and the tongues of 
Are. In the four corners are chandeliers; to the right 
of the arch are two pilasters, the one near the extrance 
matching the designs upon the walls, the one opposite 
showing the shape of a candelabrum in white chiaroscuro 
upon yellow ground, on which are heads of cupids, sphin- 
xes, birds and boys, sounding lutes. To the right of the 
chimney is a walled-up door, which led iuto the private 
rooms, attached to the apartments. There are, fixed into 
the wall, some remnants of the former floor work, with 
the sign: E pavimentis pristinis. 

Around (he walls remain the hooks for the drape- 
ries; a marble cornice of peculiar design completes the 
wall decoration. Under the ceiling are six lunettes with 
the liberal arts, frescoes by Pinturicchio ; however, tìie 
larger one, opposite the window, has two pictures, Rhe- 
toric, with drawn sword and globe, to the right. Near 
the left foot of the cupid, who stands at hèr right hand 
we can see the name óf the painter: Pentorichio (sic). 
The picture on the left is Geometry, at whose feet is 
Bramante with. compass in hand designing some geo- 
metrica! figure upon a small table. The triangle, between 
these two pictures, has a medalion with the arms óf 
Alexander VI, sustained by three angels, remarkably 
graceful. Then comes Arithraetic, after it Music, with 

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a smith to her right, hammering upon ari anvil> of whom 
Pythagoras learaed the manner of beating time in music; 
then follow Astronomy, Grammar and Dialectics (Logic), 
The centro arch of the vault shows the feats of Justice 
in Ave octagons, viz, in the apex, Justice enthroned; 
towards the entrance, Lot exhorted to flee from Sodom, 
so the just might not perish with the guilty ; on the same 
side, Jacob, on the point of parting from Laban, settling 

«his accounts with him. Òn the other haunch is, first, the 
widow claiming justice from emperor Trajan for her 
slain son; at the end is Justice, dispensing honors and 
officès. There are no stucco decorations upon this arch, 
which may have perished, but some few gilt chiarpscuri, 
made at some uncertain epoch. Even the pictures in the 
fi ve octagons appear to have been retouched at some later 
date. The ceiling, on èach side of the arch, is blue; 
upon both halves is the escutcheon of Alexander VI, 
surrounded by ràys; around it are cupids, teazing the 
bull; others, sounding trumpets, cornucopiae overflowitfg 
with fruit, flaming coronets, and the like in gilt stucco. , 

There also the floor is the work of the Museum of 
Art and Industry in Naples ; it was copied after the frag- 
ments, found yet in this same room. Remnants of the 

• old floor are among the present pavement, to skillfully 
inserted, that it is impossible te distinguish them from 

: the modera tiles. 

The . division in squares and rightangles, made with 
squaré aùd rhombic tilès, is like in the preceding rooms» 


— 23 — 

but formed in different style and design. In the middle 
of the wall of ingress stands a spirai fluted column of 
transparent orientai alabaster, found near the church of 
St Eusebius, so Nibby says (Roma moderna p. II, pag. 231) 
or, according to Pistoiesi found in the Applian way (Il 
Vaticano voi. Ili, pag. 238). Opposite is placed a show- 
case of muscovy pine, stained like walnut, containing 
majolica ware of the XVII century. The plates are from 
the papal palace of Castel Gandolfo ; at the opposite wall 
is a similar showcase, where in the upper row the plàtes 
bear pictures of life, as, Bertha who spins, the flght of 
Hector and Achilles ; below are seven with Venus and 
Adonis, Apollo and Pan, in musical contest, Europa car r 
ried of by Jove, Apollo sounding the Iute, Jove betraying 
Leda, in the guise of a swan, Hercules wrestling with 
Antheus, and Venus seeking Adonis. 

In the case below, Time brings orit the truth, Aeneas 
fleeinjj from Troy, hearing Anchises upon his back. 

Among these are some, left to His Holiness, Leo XIII, 
by Cardinal De Falloux. Over this case is a picture of 
the Blessed Virgin of sculptured majolica, with St. Mi- 
chael on her right and St. Anthony, Abbot, on the left, 
a gift of the same Cardinal De Falloux. 

The other showcase has, upon the upper row, The- 
seus victoriously returning to Athens after slaying the 
Minotaurus, the treaty of peace between Romulus and 
Tatius, Apollo putting the asses ears upon Midas, the 
rape of Europa. In the rows below, Tarpea slain by the 

— 24 — 

Sabines with bucklers, Achaz, king of Juda, sacrificing 
to the false gods, Joseph, viceroy of Egypt, embracing 
his brothers, the manger of Bethlehem, Lot fleeing from 
Sodom, Adam and Ève cast out of Paradise, Apollo pur- 
suing the fleeing Daphne. At the bottom shelf, are rem- 
nents from the former pavements in the loggie and 
Raphael rooms. Over the case is a Madonna, in ado- 
ration before the divine babe, a gift of Cardinal de Fai- 

Near these showcases are two other sculptures, viz. 
the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin to St. Bernard, 
which had been first placed in the Vatican Library, after 
His Holiness, Leo XIII, had purchased them, at the re- 
commendation of Comm. G. B. De Rossi : Also the front 
of a tabernacle, which was walled in, in the cabinet of 
ancient bulls, in the Vatican Library. To be remarked 
also, is the armorial shield of Innocent Vili, in majolica, 
long ago brocken into bits, which have now been'care- 
fully put together by Comm. Albert Galli, director general 
of the papal Museums and Galleries. 

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ivi I J ci VMM 

— 25 — 

V. Room. 

Called the Room of the Creed. 

It is located in the Borgia tower, constructed by Pope 
Alexander VI in 1494; to enter it, you ascend six steps, 
placed in the thickness of the wall, which is painted 
in panels. It is rectangular, m. 12.92 long and m. 7.52 
wide and is called the Creed, because in the lunettes are 
pictures of Apostles and Prophets, who each hold a scroi 1 
with a verse of the Apostles' Creed. Its length runs 
transversely to the preceding rooms and it has three 
Windows, South, North, and East. The south window 
is withont cross. Its ceiling is vaulted,. with twelve lu- 
nettes and pendants résting upon pyramidal brackets. 
The walls are draped in painted canvass, light green 
with gilt network, copied after the second room. Each 
two lunettes form a square, which is adorned with a 
border in diiferent colored flgures, foliage and flourishes 
upon white ground. This decoration remained only 
over the soùth window, it is now imitated in the other 
squares of doublé lunettes. On two opposite walls are 
the arms of Alexander VI and Leo XIII, done by Prof. 
Alexander Morani of Rome. The top of the walls has 
a cornice upon brackets, marbleized. The window re- 
cesses show remnants of ancient decorations of high 

26 — 

merit; they might well have been retouched by a skill- 
fùl hand. — It is not always the correct thing, to leave 
old master pieces in their delapidation ; witness the fa- 
mous Hercules of Glicoli, the Athenian. It stood for long 
in the palazzo Farnese in Rome, but is now in the royal 
museum in Naples. His limbs were re-made by Fra. Gu- 
glielmo della Porta with such precision, that when the 
originals were found, Michelangelo did not want to change 
them, so perfect were they! (Venuti, Roma moderna, 
pag. 571 ; and Titi - Pitture e Smlture di Roma, - 
, pag. 109). 

The Windows have each two seats of smooth marble 
slabs, supported by sculptured props, one free, the other 
t let into the parapet. Opposite to the entrance is the 
door of the last room, opon whose marble architrave 
are cut the words: Alexander Borgia Valentin. PP. VI. 
Upon the vault, in two roundels, are the arms radiant 
of Alexander VI and in the centro, opon a shield, the 
Iegend : Alexander Borgia PP. VI fundavit. For the rest 
the ceiling is richly decorated with a gracefully mean- 
dering garland , starting from the lateral pendants of 
the vault, running up to entwine the Borgia devices in 
circlets and rhombs of arabesque. The triangles of the 
pendants are hearing trophies, upon the one facing the 
entrance a slab has MCCCCXXXXIIIL In the lunettes 
are the twelve ^apostles und prophets. To the left of 
the entrance 1° St. Peter and Ieremias, 2° St. John 
and David? Opposite the entrance 1° St. Andrew and 

Isaias. 2° St. James Major and Zacharias. 3° St. Mat- 
thew and Oseas. 4° St. James Minor and Amos. To 
the right of the entrance 1° St. Philip and Malachiaa. 
2° St Bartholomew and Joel, Over the entrance 1° St. Tho- 
mas and Daniel? 2° St Simon and Malachias, 3° St. Thad- 
daeus and Zacharias, 4° St Malthiaa and Àbdias. Ali 
this decoration and pictures are believed to be the work 
of Benedetto Bonfilio, a Perugian Master, after the de- 
signa of Pinturicchio, bis townaman and friend. 

The floor ia similarly laid as in the precedìng rooms. 
The material , thongh, was furnished by the works of 
Ulysses Cantagallì of Florence. The bìts are in squares 
of two kinds : the ones hearing the devices of the Borgia, 
viz. radiant coronet and fiery tongues , disposed alterna- 
tely in aquare fields, blue upon white; the others, of the 
same hue, hearing a flower with ribhon tie- 

These bave heen copied after remnants from the an- 
cient floor» found in this room. They must well be a 
good imitation of the antique, as they are laid in the 
old cruciform mold of marble, which waa found upon 

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VI. Room. 

Called the Room of the Sibyls. 

This room also is in the Borgia tower. It is m. 8.52 
long and m. 7.16 wide and is called room of the Sibyls, 
because in each lunette is painted a Sibyl and a Prophet. 
The vaulted ceiling is like in the preceding room, with 
one window to the right of entrance and a chimney to 
the left, near which is a door communicating with winding 
stairs , which lead from the Borgia court to the summit of 
the tower. Originally, there was a door opposite the en- 
trance, giving ingress to the library, dose by; but it 
was walled up, when the restauration of these apart- 
ments was begun. 

The walls are draped in painted canvass, brocade imi- 
tation, upon dark green ground, copied after an antique 
piece existing in Bosnia. It is divided into rectangular 
flelds, covering the space under each two lunettes, with 
small pilasters lo mark the divisions, with border, up 
and down, pearl grey, with diverse designs, among them 
the Borgia devices, The four corner pilasters bear no 
design barring tho devices on each extremity and centre. 
It is the work of Cav. Pasquale Frenquelli. The door 
casing and arch of ingresss are in simple colors, with 
cornice moldings ; whilst the window has two seats upon 


a raised step, like in the preceding room, with only some 
remnants of the antique decoration in the arch. The 
chimney entablature is of sculptured marble, and the 
small door leading to the tower stairs is finished in wal- 
unt, XV century style. 

In the centre of the vault, in a large square, are the 
arms of Alexander VI, flanked with raedallions and oc- 
tagons in stucco, fllled with work in gilt relief upon po- 
lychrome ground. 

Under the ceiling are twelve lunettes, three on each 
side; each has a Sibyl and Prophet, viz. opposite the 
window, Baruch and the Sibyl of Samos, Zacharias and 
.the Sibyl of Persia, Abdias and the Sibyl of Lybia. Op- 
posite the entrance, Isaias and the Sibyl of Hellespont, 
Michea and the Tiburtine Sibyl, Ezechiel and the Chi- 
meran Sibyl. Over the window, Jeremiah and the Sibyl 
of Phrygia, Osee with the Sibyl of Delphos, Daniel and 
the Sibil of Erytrae. Finally, over the entrance, Aggeus 
with the 8ibyl of Cumae, Amos and the Sibyl of Europe, 
Jeremias and the Sibyl of Agrippeum. 

In the vault, above each lunette is a circle, in which 
those near the corners show some feats of Isis and Osiris 
with the Apis, those in the middle, the Borgia devices. 
Upon the triangles of the pendants are the seven greater 
planets, with Astronomy observing them, viz. Opposite 
to the window, to the left, is the Moon favoring the 
fishers; to the right, Mercury encouraging commerce; 
over against the entrance, Venus inspiring conjugal love; 

- 30 — 

Apollo dividing honors; over the window, Jove leading 
the chase ; Satura protecting the forlorn and Astronomy 
àtudying nature in ali the planets. These are also the 
work of Bonfllio after designs of Pinturicchio. 

The works of Cantagalli, in Florence, furnished the 
floor material, equal to the ancient, of which fragments 
reraain, in white, green and black checkerwork. The 
window recess is draped with four sketches in chiaro- 
scuro whitè and black, which were taken off the wall 
of some room upon the third floor of the Loggie, where 
now the offices of the Secretary of State are. They re- 
present fancy and mythology and are believed the work 
of Giulio Romano. 


Fr. Albertus Lepidi Ord. Praed. S. P. A. Magister. 
Franciscus Cassetta Patr. Antioc. Vicesgerens, 

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