The Fire in the Borgo

The Fire in the Borgo

Location:Apostolic Palace,
Vatican City

This fresco from Raphael’s workshop was created in 1514 and was originally part of a series of paintings for Stanza dell’incendio del Borgo. It portrays how Pope Leo IV was able to stop a raging fire from destroying Borgo, an area near the Basilica of Saint Peter’s, around 847 AD, through his benediction.

This painting stands out among Raphael’s work because it is unlike his other paintings, which were usually more spacious and airy. This painting, however, does not have any blank spaces. It is filled with rich details and every figure seems to tell a story. This painting also serves as an allusion to the common belief that Rome and the mythological city of Troy were the same. This is further depicted by the scene of Aeneas carrying his father away from the fire.

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