Academy of Saint Luke

Accademia di San Luca

The Academy is located at the Palazzo Carpegna built at the end of the XVI century not far away from the Saint Peter’s Basilica. Later on Borromini added a spiral stair that led through a small garden decorated with sculptures. Academy of Saint Luke is an association of artists founded in Rome by the initiative of Pope Gregory XIII and opened in 1593 by the cardinal Federico Borromeo and under directorship of the famous artist of Federico Zuccari. The Academy was named after Saint Luke the evangelist who, legend has it, made a portrait of the Virgin Mary, and thus became the patron saint of painters' guilds. That is also the reason why Raphaels’ canvas Saint Luke Painting the Virgin is displayed at the picture gallery of the Academy. The very first Italian arts academy that was established in Florence in 1563 by Cosimo Medici became the sample for the Academy of Saint Luke. Being the first president of the new association in 1607 Federico Zuccari issued the book Thoughts about Painting, Sculpture and Architecture which became the theoretical basis for teaching arts. Owing to the fact that the teaching process was skillfully organized at the Academy and that it held many exhibitions, it soon became the model for similar arts institutions.

In 1635 the rights and status of the Academy were finally acknowledged and among its members were most of the famous Italian and world artists. Prime years of the Academy fell on XVII-XVIII century. At that time some well-known artists were studying at the academy who enriched its collection with the beautiful works. In 1872 the Academy of Saint Luke acquired the status of royal academy and in 1948 it was transformed into the National Academy. Academy of Saint Luke owns the arts gallery that contains works by Rafael, Tiziano, Poussin, Rubens, van Dyck, Canova and many others.

Address: Piazza dell'Accademia di San Luca, 77
Opening hours: daily 9 am - 9 pm
How to reach: Barberini
Coordinates: 41.901604, 12.483641