Thursday, February 26, 2015


Built for Pope Nicholas V Parentucelli (1447/55) and originally decorated by various artists including Piero della Francesca

In 1508 Pope Julius II Della Rovere (1503/13) summoned for a new decoration Pietro Vannucci aka Pietro Perugino (about 1450/1523), Giovanni Antonio Bazzi aka Sodoma (1477/1549), Baldassare Peruzzi (1481/1536) and Lorenzo Lotto (about 1480/1556), but he later dismissed them all and gave the job to the young artist known as Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520) who worked here in the years 1509/17

“In the commitment to the Vatican Stanze Raphael summarized the ancient thought reworked in the light of the humanistic-Christian doctrine. The complex iconographic program was probably conceived by a scholar of the Roman Curia (the names, among others, of Ludovico Ariosto and Celio Calcagnini have been mentioned) and intended to reaffirm the central role of the church” (Andrea Pomella)


Sala di Costantino - Room of Constantine


In the center “Triumph of Christianity”, “Personifications of Italian provinces and continents”, “Virtues and symbolic attributes” with explanatory inscriptions 1582/85 by the Sicilian Tommaso Laureti (about 1530/1602) pupil of Sebastiano del Piombo

Tommaso Laureti conceived with Giambologna the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna and painted also the Room of the Captains in the Capitoline Museums

“Laureti adopted here a neoraffaellesque language very close to the first Roman Mannerism, also for cohesion with the frescoes on the walls, although a few roundels with prospective papal emblems are typical of his illusionist abilities. The central box with the Triumph of the Cross over the Gentiles' idols, carried out under Sixtus V, was probably adapted to the needs of the new pope and, in its essence symbolic entrusted solely to the spatial structure, it effectively becomes the centerpiece of the decoration” (Monica Grasso - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)


“Roman mosaic” of the third century from the Lateran area


Completed in 1525, almost all decorated after the death of Raphael by Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano (1499/1546) with the help of Giovanni Francesco Penni (about 1496/1528) and Raffaellino del Colle (about 1490/1566)

“Figures of Popes enthroned and virtues”

“Baptism of Constantine” and “Donation of Constantine” are attributed to Giovanni Francesco Penni

“It is curious to note that in recent years Raphael is the first creator of two genres that cease after his death to reappear again between late 1500 and early 1600: the still life and the battle. The Battle of Milvian Bridge represents a type of painting that, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, especially with Cavalier d'Arpino, will become an archetype from which a genre will be born destined to great success in Italy and throughout Europe” (Federico Zeri)

“Complex correlation of levels that increase in accordance with their ambiguous broken rhythms and do not allow the viewer to locate a fixed point of reference. The derivation from Roman iconography is obvious (on the left Ludovisi Sarcophagus, in the center Relief with Trajan's deeds from the Arch of Constantine), but the relationship with the old is solved rhetorically speaking, according to an interpretation that plays down the violence of action to recover the symbolic value of the whole scene” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

“Part of the nature of Giulio Romano was the not so common gift to represent the moving form, the interest in ancient culture and his remarkable formal skill, characteristics that made him suitable as any other for mythology and ancient history. His talent led him resolutely on the path that he had been beating working actively to the frescoes of the third room, i.e. pushing him towards powerful movement (...) and towards strong effects of modeling in the interest of a powerfully accentuated three-dimensionality” (Hermann Voss)

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