In 1736 Prince Corsini purchased the Riario Palace - which had been the residence of Queen Christina of Sweden and once housed the Royal Academy which she had founded and the Academy of the Arcadians. The palace was then altered and enlarged by the Florentine architect, Ferdinando Fuga. In his hands it became one of the most magnificent palaces of 18th century Rome and became known as the Corsini Palace. In 1883, the palace was bought by the Italian government and used to house the Royal Academy of the Lincei, as it was then named.
The outstanding collections of books, prints and pictures belonging to the Corsini family were arranged on the first floor of the palace. In the Academic library one of the most important sections consists of the Corsinian Library which was presented to the Lincei Academy by Prince Tommaso Corsini. He also presented to the Academy those prints which, together with the collection later acquired by the Ministry of Education, form the National Collection of Prints. Until some years ago this was housed on the second floor of the Palace, but has recently been moved from there to the Farnesina.
A collection of paintings which had belonged to the Corsini family was also given to the Italian State by Tommaso Corsini. This formed the nucleus of the National Gallery of Antienne Art, which is now divided between the Barberini palace and the Corsini palace. The former contains pictures ranging from the 13th to the 16th centuries, the latter those of the 17th and 18th centuries.
From the entrance hall of the Corsini palace, a wide staircase leads up to the first floor where the library of the Academy and the Gallery are situated. On the second floor a glass door, on which is emblazoned a lynx (the arms of the Academy), leads into a series of imposing rooms, among which the private apartment of the Corsini family. The meetings and conferences of the Academy are held on this floor, in the conference rooms of the two Classes of the Academy: Sciences and Humanities. From the entrance hall, one passes through the Sala Impero, Sala dei Divani, Alcove and the Tapestry room. Other impressive rooms on this floor are the Sala Rossa, Sala Gialla, Sala dell'Orologio, Sala Dutuit (where there are valuable collections of porcelain and other works of art, mainly from the Orient), the President's office, the Chancellor's office and the Secretariat.