Life and the Arts in the Baroque Palaces of Rome: Ambiente Barocco brought to public view examples of fine and decorative artworks illustrating the rich and varied lives of Rome’s major aristocratic families in the Baroque age, many for the first time.

During the Baroque period, the palaces of Rome were the focal point for a wellspring of creativity in which architecture, interiors, painting, sculpture, and especially the decorative arts were integrated. This was illustrated throughout the exhibition’s four thematic areas: audiences and receptions of visitors, feasts and banquets, musical entertainment, and private worship. With loans from public and private collections, including from the holdings of Roman families for whom they were originally created, the exhibition’s highlights ranged from musical instruments to liturgical objects to paintings. The objects were displayed to illustrate their context and functions, re-creating precise aspects of cultural life.

Life and the Arts in the Baroque Palaces of Rome was on view at Bard Graduate Center from March 10–June 13, 1999 and was curated by Stefanie Walker.