One of the best art shows that I have seen in Rome in recent memory is the Impressionisti Segreti exhibit that is now on show at the recently restored Palazzo Bonaparte.
The “secret impressionists” show features more than 50 works by artists including Renoir, Monet, Gaugin, and Cézanne. There are also some fantastic pieces by Pissarro and Caillebotte, among other celebrated impressionist painters.
One of the things that make the Impressionisti Segreti exhibit so special is that most of the artworks come from private collections, so you normally would never have the chance to see them hanging in a museum. To be honest, some of the pieces are so rare that I have never even seen photos of them in art history books.
From Monet’s landscapes to Caillebotte’s beautiful portraits, the paintings offer a rare glimpse into impressionism.
The second thing that makes the art exhibit so special is the location. Palazzo Bonaparte is a Baroque palace built right on Piazza Venezia. Located in the very heart of Rome, this is where Napoleon’s mother once lived. Maria Letizia Ramolino lived out her final years watching the city go by from her shuttered balcony.
This is the first time that Palazzo Bonaparte has been open for visits. The exhibit is on show on the main floor (Piano Nobile) and you can even step out onto her little porch that sits above Piazza Venezia. The most impressive room by far is the frescoed salon. The mosaic-tiled floor has been covered in glass so that it can be admired without being destroyed by the footsteps of all the new visitors.
At first, I was skeptical that the steep €15 ticket price would be worth it. In the end, I am more than happy I went because it was one of my favorite art experiences in a very long time. I would highly recommend the show if you happen to be in Rome before it closes on March 8th – International Women’s Day.
Love art and culture and want to see even more while in the Eternal City? These are the top Rome art museums to visit during your trip.
Piazza Venezia, 5
Information and booking: +39 06 8715111
Open: Monday through Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, and weekends from 9 am to 9 pm.
The exhibit runs through 8 March 2020
Cost: €15, or €16 with the audioguide. Children’s tickets are €8