Sunday, October 15, 2017

SPADA PALACE - SPADA GALLERY (first part)

PALAZZO SPADA
1548/50 for Cardinal Girolamo Capodiferro maybe by Giulio Merisi (1508/87) and Girolamo da Carpi (1501/56), most likely by Bartolomeo Baronino (1511/54)
FAÇADE decorated in stucco with eight statues of Roman characters (Trajan, Pompey, Fabius Maximus, Romulus, Numa, Claudio Marcello, Caesar and Augustus), and in the courtyard “Centaurs”, “Hunting fairs” and “Legendary divine couples” (Hercules and Omphale, Venus and Mars, Jupiter and Juno, Pluto and Proserpina, Amphitrite and Neptune, Minerva and Mercury) 1556/60 by Giulio Mazzoni (about 1525/after 1589)
“In parallel to the fashionable painted houses makes its way an architectural trend seen in Palazzo Spada or Villa Medici that will be assiduously attended throughout the course of 1500s and even later, whose unequivocal archetype is the Palazzo Branconio dell'Aquila designed by Raphael. Here the parallels with the makeshift theater sceneries leap clear to the eyes, highlighted by common ornamental vocabulary, full of classical references and full of busts, niches, plaques, medals, trophies, garlands, grotesques” (Antonio Pinelli)
It was bought in 1632 by Cardinal Bernardino Spada
Modified 1636/37 by Paolo Marucelli (1594/1649) and Vincenzo Della Greca (1592/1661)
Modified again in the years 1652/53 by Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) who added the incredible PERSPECTIVE GALLERY of 8.82 m (29 feet) that appears to be 35 m (115 feet) designed by the Augustinian father Giovanni Maria da Bitonto
“The idea seems to be derived from the theater (Teatro Olimpico) and we must not forget that it also has a respectable Renaissance ancestry. Bramante applied the same illusion principle to the choir of S. Maria presso S. Satiro in Milan, which must have been one of the first impressions of Borromini. The colonnade concept of Palazzo Spada is therefore not typically Baroque, or has an interest rather marginal in the work of Borromini. To overestimate its significance, as it often happens to those who consider Baroque as a style especially interested in optical illusion, is completely misleading” (Rudolf Wittkower)
In 1927 the Spada family sold it to the Italian government and it became the seat of the CONSIGLIO DI STATO (Council of State). On the same year the four rooms with the art gallery were opened to the public
FIRST FLOOR
Corridor of Bas-reliefs, Corridor of Stuccos and Hall of the General Audiences where there is the so-called “Statue of Pompey” found in about 1553 in Via dei Leutari and mistakenly believed the one before which Julius Caesar died

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SORA PALACE

PALAZZO SORA
1503/10 maybe by Giuliano Leno for the Fieschi family, even if it has been wrongly attributed to Donato Bramante
It was later property of the Savelli family and in 1579 of Giacomo Boncompagni, Duke of Sora son of Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni (1572/85)
It was restored in 1845
A third of the building was demolished in 1888 and a new façade was built on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in imitation of the old one
Now it is a high school called ISTITUTO PROFESSIONALE STATALE PER L’INDUSTRIA E L’ARTIGIANATO CARLO CATTANEO (Professional Institute of State for Industry and Crafts Carlo Cattaneo)

SFORZA CESARINI PALACE

PALAZZO SFORZA CESARINI
1458/62 built for Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, later Pope Alexander VI (1492/1503)
It was given as a sort of “bribe” to Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, who had supported Rodrigo Borgia in the conclave
The Cardinals Sforza and Della Rovere held the functions of Registrars of the Church here and the building was used as Chancellery until Leo X Medici (1513/21) moved the Chancellery offices to Palazzo Riario. Since then palazzo was known as the Old Chancellery
In 1697 the Sforza family intermarried with the Cesarini and since then they unified as Sforza Cesarini, current owners of the building
Modified 1730 by Pietro Passalacqua (1690/1748) with a new FAÇADE ON VIA DEI BANCHI VECCHI
FAÇADE ON CORSO VITTORIO EMANUELE II 1886/88 by Pio Piacentini (1846/1928) in a style that mimics the architecture of the sixteenth century

Monday, October 9, 2017

SERRISTORI PALACE

PALAZZO SERRISTORI
1555, Averardo Serristori ambassador of Tuscany during the reign of Pius IV Medici (1559/65) on the site of an earlier building that had belonged to Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI Borgia (1492/1503)
It was the Embassy for the Medici family and later the Tuscan embassy in Rome until 1830 when it became papal barracks
On 22 October 1867 here took place the terrorist attack of Giuseppe Monti and Gaetano Tognetti that killed many Zouaves (soldiers of the pope) and destroyed a corner of the building. It should have been an act to support the campaign for the liberation of Rome resulted in the defeat at Villa Glori of 76 volunteers and the death of the Cairoli brothers
The two bombers were beheaded at the order of Pius IX the following year
Their story inspired the 1977 film by Luigi Magni In Nome del Papa Re (In the name of the Pope King) with Nino Manfredi
Since 1870 the building was still being used as a barracks by the Italian troops and in 1902 it was dedicated to Luciano Manara
After the First World War it was used by the municipality to accommodate the evicted
In 1929 it was granted to the Holy See, which had it restored by Alberto Calza Bini (1881/1957) to adapt it as school building
Now it is the ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL PIUS IX

Friday, October 6, 2017

SERLUPI CRESCENZI PALACE

PALAZZO SERLUPI CRESCENZI
1585 masterpiece by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) for Ottaviano Serlupi Crescenzi
It was sold in 1744 to the Ruspoli family and in 1800 to the Lovatelli family
In the COURTYARD “Sarcophagus with two seasons at the sides and woman with scroll in the center” of the second half of the third century AD
“The most noble example of urban Roman architecture from the second half of the 16th century, the most classic” (Wart Arslan)
It is home to the so-called OSSERVATORIO POLITICO (Political Observatory), an institution of “political culture” that is supposed to promote “activities aimed at the formation of the new ruling class and the development of government programs for the social, economic and institutional modernization” but which is in fact another totally useless Italian institution, created for the use and the consumption of the caste of Italian politicians

Sunday, October 1, 2017

SCIARRA PALACE

Reconstruction as a palace of the homes of the Colonna family, of which the Sciarra constitute a branch
The palace was called Palazzo Sciarra in honor of Sciarra Colonna, who gave the famous “slap” of Anagni in 1303 to Pope Boniface VIII (1294/1303)
Reconstruction began after 1550, continued in 1610 maybe with Flaminio Ponzio (1560/1613) and ended in about 1641 with Orazio Torriani (about 1601/about 1657)
Library 1745 by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73) who restored also other rooms for Cardinal Prospero Colonna
Restoration in the years 1875/82 by Francesco Settimj (active 1875/88) and 1882/95 by Giulio De Angelis (1850/1906) who also built in the block of the building the Teatro Quirino (it had originally built in wood in 1871) the first theater of united Italy and the Galleria Sciarra
Giulio De Angelis reduced considerably the size of the building with the opening of Via Minghetti and the construction of theater and gallery
Beautiful PORTAL 1641 by Orazio Torriani which, according to popular tradition, was carved from a single huge block of marble
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was considered one of the four wonders of the city with Palazzo Farnese, Palazzo Borghese and the Caetani Staircase in Palazzo Ruspoli
In 2010 the work of restoration of the interior finished. It was sponsored by the FONDAZIONE ROMA (Rome Foundation), which has its headquarters in the building and made it home to temporary exhibitions with the nearby Palazzo della Cassa di Risparmio di Roma also called Palazzo Cipolla
The Rome Foundation has a permanent art collection in the palace with many important works ranging from the fifteenth century to present day. Most of the works have a close connection, for the subject or for the artists responsible for them, with the city of Rome, the focus of the activity of the foundation
Among the masterpieces:
 Tempera on wood “Imago Pietatis” about 1480/82 maybe by Piermatteo Lauro Manfredo aka Piermatteo d'Amelia (1446-48/about 1506)
“The attribution to the painter from Amelia is supported by iconographic and stylistic comparison with works of different nature, but of the same subject, in Orvieto and Terni. (...) This Christ shows, in the exquisitely linearity that pervades it, the close relationship with Florentine culture, to which refers indirectly also the clear luminosity similar to the one of Piero Della Francesca and the strong geometric presence of the uncovered tomb, which is the only spacial element of the work. (...) The strong plastic emphasis seems to prove the progressive approach of the artist towards Antoniazzo Romano, with whom he worked closely in the second half of the eighties in Rome” (Laura Auciello)
Oil on board “Pieta” by Marcello Venusti (about 1512/79)
Oil painting “Madonna reading and Child with Sts. Elizabeth and John the Baptist” by Francesco de' Rossi aka Francesco Salviati (1510/63)
Oil on canvas “Moses frees the daughters of Jethro” by Ciro Ferri (1634/89)
“The oldest sources document in the biography of the artist, his outstanding erotic inclinations: “He was very dedicated... to love... He painted with great assiduity, and delight, when surrounded by vague maidens was flattered by some sweet sight...” (Passeri) (...) It is interesting to examine his overwhelming production (...) of works for private buyers, partly still on the antiquities market, painted in fifty years of activity. They attest to a plurality of interests and to an eclectic background that would associate Caroselli to the naturalists of the third decade (Valentin, Régnier, Paolini), or to Venetian models, or even to the formal paradigms of the painters from Bologna (Annibale Carracci, Domenichino). An explicit archaic will determines in some of his most beautiful works (Madonna enthroned with the Archangels Michael and Raphael) an impressive neo-Renaissance scheme (the references are to Piero Della Francesca, Bronzino, Allori, to the sixteenth century Venetian painters), as a conscious attitude of rejection and failure against the triumphant baroque absolutism” (Anna Ottani Cavina - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Oil on canvas “Achilles meets Teti near the Centaur Chiron” by Bernardino Cesari (1571/1622) brother of the Cavalier d'Arpino
Oil on canvas “Landscape with Roman ruins” by the Flemish Willem Van Nieulandt II (1584/1635)
Oil on canvas “Landscape with idealized view of Rome” by the Flemish who settled in Rome Jan Frans van Bloemen aka Orizzonte (1662/1749)
Two oils on canvas “View of St. Peter's Square” and “View of Monte Cavallo” by Giovanni Paolo Pannini (1691/1765)
Oil on canvas “Portrait of Giacinta Orsini Boncompagni Ludovisi” by the great Pompeo Batoni (1708/87)
Oil on canvas “Start of the race of Berbers in Piazza del Popolo” by the English Thomas Jones Barker (1813/82)
There are also works of the twentieth century:
“Cabins in the Pontine Marshes” by Onorato Carlandi (1848/1939)
“Pollarole (Fight of commoners)” by Alberto Ziveri (1908/90)
“Training in Parioli” by Ferruccio Ferrazzi (1891/1978)
“Hunting the Tiger I” and “Hunting the Tiger II” by Marino Mazzacurati (1907/69)
“Lungotevere Ripetta” and “S. Giorgio in Velabro” by Francesco Trombadori (1886/1961)
Bronze sculpture “Twentieth Century” by Arnaldo Pomodoro (1926)
“Allstars” by Mario Schifano (1934/98)
“The room unvoiced” by Emilio Tadini (1927/2002)
“Mirror” by Enrico Baj (1924/2003)
“Michelangelo” Tano Festa (1938/88)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

SCAPUCCI PALACE

Built at the beginning of 1500s for Pietro Griffo Bishop of Forlì
It was restored in 1588 by Giovanni Fontana (1540/1614), brother of Domenico Fontana, for Gaspare Scapucci
During the restoration the TOWER OF THE MONKEY of 1014 was included in the building
It was linked to a legend that became famous when told in 1860 by the American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne in his novel The Marble Faun:
Legend has it that in the palace lived a monkey who, one day, kidnapped the baby of his master in swaddling clothes, and took him to the top of the tower, making him stick out from the battlements, just for fun, at the risk of making him fall
The parents and the people who were there implored the help of Our Lady who rescued the baby: so the ape, at a call of the child's father, came back down the tower and into the house, carrying the baby safe and sound
From that day the father of the child wanted that a lamp would burn before a statue of the Virgin that he placed on top of the building, as a thanksgiving for the grace received

Friday, September 29, 2017

SCANDERBEG PALACE

PALAZZO SCANDERBEG
It was built in the fifteenth century
The palace is known for hosting for a few months in 1466 the Albanian hero Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg (1405/68) who united the tribes of Epirus and Albania, and resisted attempts of the Ottoman Empire to conquer Albania for twenty-five years
The square named after Scanderbeg was the first case of a foreign name used in Roman toponymy
The building is now home to the
National Museum of Pasta
Private museum opened at the behest of Vincenzo Agnesi (1893/1977) the owner of the Agnesi company, pasta producer
The museum is closed for renovation at the time being
ELEVEN ROOMS with tools for the production of pasta and documents on the subject
The museum is strongly opposed by the Albanian community that believes the memory of his national hero is desecrated

SANGALLO MEDICI CLARELLI PALACE

PALAZZO SANGALLO MEDICI CLARELLI
1535/36 Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546)
At his death it was sold to Migliore Cresci from Florence, mentioned in inscriptions along the five windows MELIOR DE CRESCIS CI FLORENTINUS
Between 1559 and 1565 the new owner decorated the entire façade with frescoes, including Medici crests and portraits of Giovanni and Giuliano de' Medici
The decoration remained in this condition until the end of the nineteenth century, when the plaster was replaced
On the façade there is a plaque honoring Cosimo II Duke of Florence (COSMO MEDICI / DUCI FLOREN II / PACIS ATQUE / IVSTICIAE CULTORI)
It was enlarged in the seventeenth century extending the façade
It passed to the Consulate of Tuscany and later to the Marini Clarelli family
It became a barrack for soldiers and it was eventually acquired by the municipality which has restored it

Monday, September 25, 2017

SALVIATI PALACE

PALAZZO SALVIATI
1520/27 Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano (1499/1546) for Filippo Adimari chamberlain of Pope Leo X Medici (1513/21)
Completed 1552/68 by Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68) for Cardinal Bernardo Salviati
From 1883 to 1943 it was the headquarters of the Military School of Rome
It was restored and enlarged in 1933
It originally faced the Leonino Port disappeared after the construction of the embankments of the Tiber
On October 16, 1943 1,022 Roman Jews were brought here, and two days later deported to Auschwitz. Only sixteen survived
In 1945 it was for a full year Hospital of the Canadian Armed Forces
Between 1946 and 1950 it was the Military Tribunal
Since 1971 is home to the Centro Alti Studi per la Difesa (Centre for High Defense Studies)
LIBRARY
Three rooms with ceilings decorated in 1883 with “Scenes of battles of the Risorgimento and other military episodes” and “Groups of plants and flowers” by Annibale Brugnoli (1843/1915)
CHAPEL
Paintings by Santi di Tito (1536/1603)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

SACCHETTI PALACE

PALAZZO SACCHETTI
1542 designed by Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546) as his home
The unfinished building was sold in 1550 by his Sangallo's son, Orazio, to Cardinal Giovanni Ricci of Montepulciano treasurer of Paul III Farnese (1534/49)
Completed in 1552 maybe by Sangallo's student Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68) and his son Annibale Lippi (active in Rome in the second half of the XVI century)
NYMPHAEUM 1660 by Carlo Rainaldi (1611/91)
It belonged for nearly three decades until 1608 to the Ceoli family who enriched it with ancient sculptures and then sold it to Cardinal Scipione Caffarelli Borghese
Later it belonged to Cardinal Ottavio Acquaviva d'Aragona, and finally, from 1649, to the Sacchetti family of Florence who still owns it
The GARDEN of the palace was the first place in Rome where oleanders, very rare at the time, would be cultivated
Emile Zola chose the palace as the setting for his novel “Rome” even if with the fictitious name of Palazzo Boccanera
ATRIUM
Bas-relief “Presentation to the Senate of Caracalla by Septimius Severus (193/211)”
AUDIENCE HALL or HALL OF THE GLOBES
Masterpiece of Roman Mannerism “Stories of David” including “Bathsheba goes to King David” 1553/54 by Francesco de' Rossi aka Francesco Salviati (1510/63)
“Simulating illusionistically complex decorative systems made of architecture and painted sculptures, of fake easel paintings and tapestries (behind which is a conceptual plot of meanings resulting from the complicated web of allegorical, mythological and historical themes) Salviati gave another proof of the great expressive features of Mannerism”(Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
GALLERY
Copies of sibyls and prophets from originals by Michelangelo executed by Giacomo Rocca (1592/1605)
“Holy Family” and “Adam and Eve” by Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669)
CHAPEL
Frescoes by Agostino Ciampelli (1565/1630)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

RUSTICUCCI PALACE

PALAZZO RUSTICUCCI
1584/88 Domenico Fontana (1543/1607) and Carlo Maderno (1556/1629) for Cardinal Girolamo Rusticucci, who also paid for the construction of new church of S. Susanna
To build the palace, the cardinal had bought all the buildings in the area except the house of an old woman, Mrs. Moscetti, who had categorically refused to sell it. The cardinal did, however, made his architects build the palace anyway, incorporating the property of the old woman who found herself with her house surrounded by a cardinal's palace
The original palace was built on the now disappeared Piazza Rusticucci which used to be between Via del Mascherino and Borgo Sant'Angelo
In the seventeenth century the palace became the property of the Accoramboni family
It was rebuilt approximately as it was here in 1950 with some original elements


RUSPOLI PALACE

PALAZZO RUSPOLI
Begun in 1556 by Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68)
Continued 1583/86 by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1511/92) for the Rucellai family from Florence who sold it in 1629 to the Caetani family
Completed 1633/37 by Bartolomeo Breccioli (?/1639)
Incorporates the former CINEMA ETOILE
Since 1713 it became property of the Ruspoli family who possess it still
It is the seat of the Fondazione Memmo and it hosts temporary exhibitions
STAIRCASE also known as Caetani Staircase 1640 by Martino Longhi the Younger (1602/60) with 120 steps each carved from a single piece of antique marble
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it was considered one of the four wonders of Rome along with Palazzo Farnese, Palazzo Borghese and the entrance to Palazzo Sciarra
GALLERY ON THE SECOND FLOOR
Frescoes “Genealogy of the triumphs with deities and allegorical figures” 1589/92 by Jacopo Zucchi (about 1542/96) and busts

Monday, September 18, 2017

RUGGERI PALACE

PALAZZO RUGGERI
1588/91 Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) for the Ruggeri family
The stretch of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in front of the palace corresponds to a stretch of the Via Papalis, the way the popes used to get from the Vatican to their palace near the Basilica of St. John Lateran or during important occasions and processions
When, from 1420 onwards, the popes went to live in the Vatican, the Via Papalis was tread by them in the days after the election to take symbolically possession as bishops of Rome of the throne in the Lateran Cathedral
HALLS OF HONOR and LOGGIA
“Fake painted tapestries with scenes of the Roman consul Gnaeus Pompey taken from Plutarch” and “Allegorical figures” painted at the end of 1500s by the brothers Giovanni Alberti (1558/1601) and Cherubino Alberti (1553/1615) for Pompeo Ruggeri
TWO ROOMS ON THE SECOND FLOOR
Frescoed frieze “Cycle with alternate stories of the Old Testament with allegorical figures” also by the Alberti brothers and Cristoforo Roncalli aka Pomarancio (1552/1626)

RUFFO GUGLIELMI PALACE

PALAZZO RUFFO GUGLIELMI
It was built in the sixteenth century for the Cybo family
It later belonged to the Altemps and to the Ruffo families who had in 1783 Kaiser Wilhelm II of Austria as their guest here
It then passed to the Guglielmi family of Vulci who did renovation in 1873 with Gaetano Koch (1849/1910)
It has been the headquarters of the Italian Democratic Party

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

RONDININI PALACE

PALAZZO RONDININI
Begun in 1750 by Gabriele Valvassori (1683/1761), who incorporated the Palace of Cavalier d'Arpino built by Flaminio Ponzio (1560/1613), made the NORTH WING and the FAÇADE ON VIA DEL CORSO
Finished 1761/64 by Alessandro Dori (active in Roma since 1744/d. 1772), who added the SOUTH WING and oversaw the interior of the house-museum of the Marquis Giuseppe Rondinini that until 1800 still kept the famous “Pieta Rondanini” (the misspelling of the name is commonly accepted) by Michelangelo Buonarroti now in Milan
The building is currently owned by Bank Antonveneta and hosts the Chess Club
GALLERY
Incredible frescoed vault “Fall of Phaeton” 1772 by Jacques Gamelin (1738/1803)
“Among the strategies adopted to emphasize the prestige of the family, there is the relationship between antiquities and modern décor. Pieces of the Roman statuary such as columns, bas-reliefs, sarcophagi and statues were fused with stuccos and paintings, creating a living museum, where the classics became an additional ornament. Unlike other historic homes where the remains of the ancient collections were exhibited in galleries and private museums, here the relationship with archeology was part of everyday life, as well as being a good financial investment in times of crisis. Most of these pieces, however, were removed when Giuseppe Rondinini, the last heir, left the palace. (...) However, one can still feel the ancient preciousness of the rooms through illusionistic paintings, architectural views and depictions of mythological stories made​in the style of Bologna's squaring” (Rita Dietrich - L'Osservatore Romano)

ROCCI PALLAVICINI PALACE

PALAZZO ROCCI PALLAVICINI
Beginning of the seventeenth century by Carlo Maderno (1556/1629) for the Rocci family from Cremona
From 1759 it belonged to the Discalced Carmelites who had their headquarters here with the church Sts. Teresa and John of the Cross
In the nineteenth century they moved to S. Maria della Vittoria, the church was demolished and the palace became property of the Pallavicini family
It was restored by Francesco Azzurri (1831/1901)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

RIVALDI PALACE

PALAZZO RIVALDI
About 1540/47 Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546) as Villa Silvestri for Eurialo Silvestri from Cingoli butler of Pope Paul III Farnese (1534/49) on the area of the VELIA HILL ​​
The palace was built consciously on pre-existing archaeological remains consisting of a housing complex of mid-first century AD, used and refurbished until the fifth century
Renovated in 1586 by Jacopo Del Duca (about 1520/1604), who also rearranged the gardens for Alessandro de' Medici, the future Pope Leo XI (1605)
Restored in about 1612 by Jan Van Santen aka Giovanni Vasanzio (1550/1621)
It belonged to the Gonzaga family (1621/26), to the House of Savoy (1626/60) and then to the Archbishop Ascanio Rivaldi who used it as the Conservatory of the poor women beggars who were employed here working the wool with the name PIO INSTITUTE RIVALDI
The garden was reduced when the Velia Hill was mostly removed in 1932
Many sculptures found here are now at the Vatican Museums and at the Centrale Montemartini
It is being renovated and there are plans to exhibit here the Torlonia collection of statues if it would be finally acquired and pulled out of the basement of Palazzo Torlonia alla Lungara where it is currently sadly stored
ROOM WITH FRESCOED FRIEZE “The Story of Cupid and Psyche” first half of 1500s maybe by Pietro Bonaccorsi aka Perin del Vaga (1501/47) or by his pupil Pellegrino Tibaldi (1527/96)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

RICCI PALACE

Early sixteenth century for the Calcagni family
Mistakenly attributed to Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68)
The property of the palace passed in 1577 to the Ricci family and they still own it
It was expanded in 1634 with the FAÇADE ON VIA GIULIA
On the FAÇADE ON PIAZZA DE’ RICCI there are traces of frescoes by Polidoro Caldara aka Polidoro da Caravaggio (about 1495/1543) and Maturino da Firenze (?/1528)
It is the only palace, with Palazzo Milesi, where there are remains of the many frescoes that used to adorn the façades of many buildings of Rome at the beginning of the sixteenth century
“Polidoro was an original summoner of the ancient times who proposed a modern interpretation of the spirit of classical Rome and gave rise to a large repertoire of ideas and motifs that had inexhaustible fortune throughout the course of 1500s and found their self-definition as 'martial manner' of painting” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
The frescoes were restored at the end of 1800 by Luigi Fontana (1827/1908) who repainted them copying from seventeenth-century engravings (the added sections were recently removed) and painted second and third floors completely new
In a room on the first floor frescoes “Virtue” of the end of 1500s
The Roman art collector Mario Praz (1896/1982) lived in this palace from 1934 to 1969
St. John in Ayno
Adjacent to Palazzo Ricci with a SMALL RENAISSANCE FAÇADE
It was first mentioned by sources on 1186 as Sancto Johanni in Aginae
There is mystery about the origin of the name, perhaps a reference to the lamb (agnello) that St. John the Baptist is commonly associated with
It was deconsecrated in 1895 and used as a warehouse for building materials
Since 1996 it is owned and seat of the services company Ayno Videoconferencing

Thursday, September 7, 2017

PRIMOLI PALACE - NAPOLEONIC MUSEUM and MARIO PRAZ MUSEUM

PALAZZO PRIMOLI
Built in the sixteenth century
It was bought in 1820 by Count Luigi Primoli
It was transformed in the years 1909/11 by Raffaele Ojetti (1845/1924) for Count Giuseppe Primoli with the NEW FAÇADE ALONG THE RIVER TIBER
The ground floor was buried and the gardens, that had occupied the area up to the river, disappeared
ROOMS
Some ceilings of the eighteenth century with painted beams
Friezes in three rooms of early 1800s, in two rooms of the second half of 1800s
“Interpreter of the aspirations of his client, Ojetti the original building in the new palace, transforming it into a stately neo-fifteen hundreds residence with a Roman flair, typical of the fin de siècle. With great mastery, he united in one design distinct elements corresponding to different functions, creating an ordered façade, despite its irregularities and asymmetries, thanks to the skillful use of brick and travertine, soberly dosed with polychrome marble. Towards the bridge, a new section was added at the wing on Via Zanardelli. The architect, with a successful and very unique formal solution, pierced the corner in an elegant double Serlian, surmounted by a linteled loggia, providing to the spaces for public use (the Grand Salon, the Great Library) a magnificent view of the river, of the new bridge, of the new district of Prati di Castello” (Sito web della Fondazione Primoli - www.fondazioneprimoli.it)
MUSEO NAPOLEONICO
Napoleonic Museum
Donated to the city in 1927 by Giuseppe Primoli (1851/1927), son of Pietro Primoli and Charlotte Bonaparte. He was the grandson of Lucien Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who moved to Rome in 1807
Napoleon, however, never set foot in Rome
Three distinct phases:
1) Napoleonic period
2) Roman period after the fall of Napoleon
3) Second Empire
Room I - The First Empire
Portraits of “Napoleon” by Joseph Chabord (1786/1848)
“Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi and her daughter Elisa” by François Gerard (1770/1837)
“Empress Josephine” and “Letizia Bonaparte Ramolino” by Robert Lefèvre (1755/1830)
Room II - The First Empire
Portrait of “Lucien Bonaparte” by François-Xavier Fabre (1766/1837)
Room III - The Second Empire
“Napoleon III” and “The Empress Eugenie” by the German Franz-Xavier Winterhalter (1805/73), famous for his ability to represent realistically and in detail the folds of clothing and hairstyles details
Room IV - The King of Rome, son of Napoleon and Marie Louise of Austria
“The Duke of Reichstadt” by Luigi Schiavonetti (1765/1810)
Curved saber that belonged to Napoleon and the Duke of Reichstadt awarded at birth with the title of King of Rome. He died at age 21 and was never able to reign over Rome
Room V - The Roman Republic
Room VI - Pauline Bonaparte
“Bust of Pauline” in 1805/07 by Antonio Canova (1757/1822)
“Pauline Bonaparte” by the Flemish artist François-Joseph Kinson (1771/1839)
Plaster cast of the breasts of Pauline Bonaparte
Room VII - The Kingdom of Naples
Jewelry of Caroline Bonaparte, Napoleon's sister and Queen of Naples
“Julia Clary and her daughters Zenaide and Charlotte” by Jean-Baptiste Wicar (1762/1834)
Room VIII - Watercolors and caricatures
Room IX - Zenaide and Carlotta
“Zenaide” and “Charlotte Bonaparte” by Jacques-Louis David (1748/1825)
Room X - Lucien Bonaparte
Room XI - The “Roman” branch of the Bonaparte family
“Charlotte Bonaparte Gabrielli” as a farmer by Jean-Baptiste Wicar (1762/1834)
Room XII - Giuseppe Primoli and Matilde Bonaparte
In the museum there are also refined pieces of furniture, jewelery and miniatures
LIBRARY
30,000 volumes of history, literature and French art and valuable collection of photographsof the end of the nineteenth century
MUSEO MARIO PRAZ
Mario Praz Museum
One of the few Italian historic house museums: collection of about 1,200 pieces of furniture and works of art assembled by the famous Anglicist, critic and Roman essayist Mario Praz (1896/1982)
He was an avid collector and put together his collection of art pieces in more than sixty years of research
He lived from 1934 to 1969 at Palazzo Ricci in Via Monserrato and in this building from 1969 to 1982, the year of death
The house was bought by the state in 1986 and the museum opened to the public in 1995
Entrance hall, three rooms of exhibitions, gallery, bedroom, dining room and corridor
“Head” maybe by Antonio Canova (1757/1822) and works by Italian, French, Austrian, Swiss and German including:
“Portrait of Princess Vittorina Spinola near the bust of Augustus d'Arenberg” 1792 by the Swiss Jacques Sablet (1749/1803)
“View of Cava near Salerno” by Anton Sminck Pitloo (1791/1837) Dutch painter who lived mainly in Rome and Naples. He was a leading exponent of the School of Posillipo and is considered a precursor of Impressionism
More than 400 sheets of watercolors, prints and drawings are exhibited on rotation