The Room Of The Liberal Arts, Borgia Apartments

The Borgia Apartments area a suite of special rooms in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican that were constructed by Pope Alexander VI for his personal use in the late 15th century. In the late 15th century, he commissioned the Italian painter Bernardino di Betto (Pinturicchio) and his studio to decorate them with frescos.

The Borgia Apartments were sealed off by Pope Pius III after the death of Pope Alexander VI, Rodrigo Borgia, (1431-1503) (due to their association with the scandalous Borgia family). For nearly 400 years the sumptuous art within sat in wait.

Then, in 1889, Pope Leo XII reopened the rooms for restoration revealing an overwhelming trove of artistic riches. The apartments were discovered to be filled to the brim with astonishing frescos by the Italian painter Bernardino di Betto, also known as Pinturicchio – who worked on them with a team of apprentices between 1492-1494. Intricate stucco work adorns the walls and vaults while accentuating the paintings, saturated with vivid reds and blues. The halls are considered a masterpiece in design. Themes of the works adorning the walls are from medieval encyclopedia and celebrate the supposed divinity of the Borgias.