Friday, February 20, 2015




Extraordinary effects of trompe l'oeil “Allegories in chiaroscuro honoring the glory of Pius VI Braschi (1775/99)” and “Stories of Trajan and Hadrian” 1788/90 by Domenico del Frate (1765/1821) and Antonio Marini, who did the ornamental sections, from drawings of their teacher Bernardino Nocchi (1741/1812)

Nocchi wanted to honor Pius VI using allegorical stories of the Roman emperors:
In the first part “Edicts promulgated by the emperors which have an affinity with the policy of Pius VI”
In the central part “Coat of arms of Pius VI supported by Architecture who's submitting it to Painting and Sculpture to be colored and sculpted”
In the third part “Stories of the Roman emperors exalting their goodness, mercy and love for peace”


“TAPESTRIES OF THE NEW SCHOOL” 1524/31, arrived in Rome in 1531, woven with silk, wool and gold in Brussels by the manufacture of Pieter Van Aelst (d. 1532) for Clement VII Medici (1523/34) after Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael)'s death (1483/1520) from cartoons of his disciples inspired by his drawings

They are known as Della Scuola Nuova (New School's) as opposite to the Scuola Vecchia (Old School's) now in the Pinacoteca Vaticana made during Raphael's lifetime for Leo X Medici (1513/21)
Both sets of tapestries were used for the walls of the Sistine Chapel
Of the original twelve tapestries of this set, eleven remain of which nine are on display here since 1838

“Adoration of the Shepherds” maybe by Bernart Van Orley
In the Louvre there is a very similar drawing of Raphael, which was perhaps the model

Three tapestries with the “Massacre of the Innocents” maybe by Tommaso Vincidor

A small but beautiful piece of one of the original cartoons with the face of a terrified girl is exhibited here

“Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene”

In addition “Cornelius the Centurion” of the sixteenth century by Maestro Benedetto belonging to the manufacture of Vigevano in Lumbardy and “Death of Julius Caesar” 1549 by Flemish manufacturing


Eight tapestries with “FACTS OF THE LIFE OF CARDINAL MAFFEO BARBERINI” later Pope Urban VIII (1623/44) 1663/79 by the Barberini manufacture for the Pope's nephew Cardinal Francesco Barberini
The manufacture was located in the Monumental Complex of S. Michele a Ripa Grande near Porta Portese

These first three tapestries were designed in the years 1664/66 by the great painter and architect from Rieti Antonio Gherardi (1638/1702) when he was 26 years old and was under the influence of Pietro da Cortona

The fort of Castel Franco Emilia was built in the years 1628/34 to defend the borders of the Papal States

Interestingly, the about 150 years that separate the two cycles of tapestries constitute an abyss between two completely different styles, the late Renaissance about to become Mannerism of the tapestries of the New School and the more ceremonial and somewhat cold Baroque appearance of the Barberini tapestries

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