Barberini Bees and Bernini: a Roman story

Sep 16, 2021 240

The Barberini family, an aristocratic Italian dynasty, attained enormous riches, power and influence in 17th-century Rome, peaking with the election of Cardinal Maffeo Barberini as Pope Urban VIII in 1623. The two-decade long pontificate of the new Barberini pope - a passionate patron of the arts - was marked by ecclesiastical, diplomatic and cultural triumphs.

His reign was also overshadowed by nepotism and the pillaging of ancient Roman monuments, leading to the expression 'Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini' (What the barbarians did not do, the Barberini did).

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