Saturday, February 28, 2015


Loggia di Raffaello
The LOGGE VATICANE were begun in the years 1512/18 by Donato Bramante (1444/1514) who could only built the first floor (Doric order) with decorations by Giovanni Ricamatore aka Giovanni da Udine (1487/1564)

They were continued after Bramante's death by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520) who built the central dome of the first floor and the other two floors

SECOND FLOOR (Ionic order)

Known as Loggia di Raffaello, it has thirteen bays (twelve with the Old Testament, one with the New) with fifty-two panels using cloister vaults instead of the domes designed by Bramante to increase the surface to be frescoed
Raphael gave the scheme and provided the drawings for the first eight spans and its influence is visible up to the tenth

1) Genesis: “Separation of Light from Darkness”, “Separation of land from the waters”, “Creation of the sun and moon”, “Creation of the Animals”

2) Adam and Eve: “Creation of Eve”, “Original Sin”, “Expulsion from Eden”, “Work of Adam and Eve”

3) Noah: “Building the Ark”, “Flood”, “Out of the ark”, “Sacrifice of Noah”

4) Abraham and Loth: “Abraham and Melchizedek”, “God's Promise of a long posterity”, “Meeting with the three angels”, “Escape from Sodom”

5) Isaac: “God appears to Isaac”, “Isaac and Rebecca spied upon by Abimelech”, “Blessing of Jacob”, “Birthright to Esau”

6) Jacob: “Jacob's Dream”, “Meeting with Rachel at the Well”, “Covenant with Laban”, “Jacob's Journey to Canaan”

7) Joseph: “Explanation of the dreams to his brothers”, “Joseph sold by his brothers”, “Temptation by Potiphar's Wife”, “Explanation of the dreams to Pharaoh”

8) Moses: “Moses saved from the waters”, “Burning Bush”, “Passage of the Red Sea”, Mmiracle of the spring water from the cliff”

9) Moses: “Delivery of the tablets of the Law”, “Adoration of the Golden Calf”, “Column of smoke”, “Presentation to the Jews of the tablets of the Law”

10) Joshua: “Passage of the Jordan”, “Fall of Jericho”, “Joshua stopping the sun and the moon”, “Division of the Promised Land”

11) David: “Samuel consecrating David”, “Fight with Goliath”, “Triumph on the Assyrian”, “Toilet of Bathsheba”

12) Solomon: “Consecration of Solomon”, “Judgment of Solomon”, “Meeting with the Queen of Sheba”, “Construction of the Temple”

13) Christ: “Nativity”, “Epiphany”, “Baptism”, “Last Supper”

Although the precise attributions are debated, they were executed by eleven disciples of Raphael: Giovanni da Udine (1487/1564), Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano (1499/1546), Giovanni Francesco Penni (about 1496/1528), Pietro Bonaccorsi aka Perin del Vaga (1501/47), Polidoro Caldara aka Polidoro da Caravaggio (about 1495/1543), Raffaellino Del Colle (about 1490/1566), Tommaso Vincidor (d. 1536) Pellegrino da Modena (about 1464/1523), Vincenzo Tamagni (about 1492/1530), Guillaume de Marcillat (about 1469/1529) e Pedro Machuca (d. 1550)

Raphael would have wanted to integrate architecture and painting with sculptures consisting in the stucco reliefs and ancient statues he intended to place in the aediculae

“Raphael is the absolute greatest painter of the past millennium, and the Loggias are his most significant legacy” (Antonio Paolucci)

“The great festoons by Raphael with still lives in the Vatican Loggias denote that the still life genre was gaining independence, according to a process that, after its disappearance, was rediscovered in Lombardy, and especially in Rome, around 1590” (Federico Zeri)

“The artistic influence exerted by the loggias was spread over three centuries, until the neoclassical time, and they constituted a source of inspiration for countless artists interested in the art of decoration and restoration of the old. These artists worked in a dimension that can be defined choral - where it is difficult to single out the individual personalities who painted side by side, creating almost a common language - created for the Pope in a private setting, for its intellectual digressions, which could revive the old through architecture, painting and the many statues that adorned the gallery, forming a sort of private museum” (Andrea Pomella)

The architect Giacomo Quarenghi (1744/1817) from Bergamo designed and built in record time in the first half of the eighties of 1700s for the Empress Catherine of Russia in the Palace of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg a Loggia that was the exact copyof the Loggia of Raphael

In Rome, the painter Cristoforo Unterberger (1732/98), a pupil of Anton Raphael Mengs, made copies of the frescoes along with Felice Giani (1758/1823), G.B. Dall'Era, Andrea Nesserthaler, Peter Wenzel and others

Catherine had never seen the Loggia in Rome and she had admired only on the prints by Giovanni Volpato

It is frustrating to find out that in St. Petersburg the copy of the Loggia is one of the great attractions of the Hermitage, whereas here the original Loggia hasn't even been open to the public for decades

III FLOOR (Corinthian order)

Painted by Giovanni da Udine (1487/1564)

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