Borgia Apartment
The Borgia Apartment is a suite of rooms in the Apostolic Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

 in the Vatican
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...



The Borgia Apartment was adapted for personal use by Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI , born Roderic Llançol i Borja was Pope from 1492 until his death on 18 August 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized surname—Borgia—became a byword for the debased standards of the Papacy of that era, most notoriously the Banquet...

 (Rodrígo de Borgia).

In the late 15th century, he commissioned the Italian painter Bernardino di Betto (Pinturicchio)
Bernardino di Betto, called Pintoricchio or Pinturicchio was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. He acquired his nickname, Pintoricchio , because of his small stature, and he used it to sign some of his works....

 and his studio to decorate them with fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...


The paintings and fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

es, which were executed between 1492 and 1494, drew on a complex iconographic program that used themes from medieval encyclopedias, adding an eschatological layer of meaning and celebrating the supposedly divine origins of the Borgias.


The works in the apartment are now considered part of the Vatican Library
Vatican Library
The Vatican Library is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from...


The upper part of the walls and vaults are not only covered with paintings but are further enriched with delicate stucco work in relief. The main subjects of the five rooms completed by Pinturicchio are:
  • The Annunciation
    The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her...

    , the Nativity
    Nativity of Jesus
    The Nativity of Jesus, or simply The Nativity, refers to the accounts of the birth of Jesus in two of the Canonical gospels and in various apocryphal texts....

    , the Magi
    Magi is a term, used since at least the 4th century BC, to denote a follower of Zoroaster, or rather, a follower of what the Hellenistic world associated Zoroaster with, which...

    , and the Resurrection
    Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

  • Scenes from the lives of St. Catherine
    Catherine of Siena
    Saint Catherine of Siena, T.O.S.D, was a tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She also worked to bring the papacy of Gregory XI back to Rome from its displacement in France, and to establish peace among the Italian city-states. She was proclaimed a Doctor...

    , St. Antony
    Anthony of Padua
    Anthony of Padua or Anthony of Lisbon, O.F.M., was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. Though he died in Padua, Italy, he was born to a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, which is where he was raised...

     and other saints.
  • Allegorical figures of music, arithmetic
    Arithmetic or arithmetics is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. It involves the study of quantity, especially as the result of combining numbers...

     and the like.
  • Four figures in half length, with rich arabesques.
  • Figures of the planet
    A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals.The term planet is ancient, with ties to history, science,...

    s, the occupations of the various months, and other subjects.

A sixth room was repainted by Perin del Vaga
Perin del Vaga
Perino del Vaga was an Italian painter of the Late Renaissance/Mannerism.-Biography:...



There are a number of individual rooms in the apartment including:
  • The Room of the Sibyls
  • The Room of the Creed
  • The Room of the Liberal Arts
  • The Room of the Saints
  • The Room of the Faith.

However, as the apartment was closely associated with the despised Borgia family, it was abandoned in 1503 after the death of Pope Alexander VI.

Modern use

In 1889 Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII
Pope Leo XIII , born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci to an Italian comital family, was the 256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, reigning from 1878 to 1903...

 had the rooms restored and opened for public viewing.

Most of the rooms are now used for the Vatican Collection of Modern Religious Art
Collection of Modern Religious Art, Vatican Museums
The Collection of Modern Religious Art of the Vatican Museums is a collection of paintings, graphic art and sculptures...

, inaugurated by Pope Paul VI
Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

 in 1973.

The collection includes about 600 accumulated works of painting, sculpture and graphic art; donations of contemporary Italian and foreign artists and includes works by Gauguin, Chagall, Klee
Klee , named after Paul Klee, is a German pop-band from Cologne.-Lineup 2002-2010 :* Suzie Kerstgens * Tom Deininger * Sten Servaes -Lineup 2010-present :...

 and Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting the first purely-abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.