Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Room V – Of the Saints

Masterpiece by Pinturicchio: friezes in stucco and gilded with representations of the “Myth of Osiris, and Io and the bull Apis” an allusion to the bull, a symbol of the Borgia family

From the lunette above the entrance towards left:

“Visitation”, “St. Paul the Hermit and St. Anthony Abbot in the Thebaid”, “Disputation of St. Catherine of Alexandria with the philosophers before the Emperor Maximilian” (with self-portrait by Pinturicchio on the far left), “Legend of St. Barbara”, “Legend of the chaste Susanna”, “Martyrdom of St. Sebastian” with, in the background, Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the church of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo

Above the door round panel with “Madonna and Child with cherubim”


Room VI – Of the Mysteries of the Faith

Painted by Pinturicchio with pupils maybe Tiberio d'Assisi (about 1460-70/1524) and Bartolomeo di Giovanni

In the vault stuccos and paintings, “David”, “Solomon”, “Isaiah”, “Jeremiah”, “Malachi”, “Zephaniah”, “Micah” and “Joel”

In the lunettes from right Seven Mysteries of the Faith, the mysteries of Christ's life as opposed to the joyful mysteries of the life of Mary:

“Resurrection” with on the lower left portrait of Alexander VI kneeling, one of the finest Renaissance portraits, a true masterpiece of the highest quality

Portraits of the twentieth century sculpted by artists such as Francesco Messina (1900/95), Alberto Giacometti (1901/66), Giovanni Prini (1877/1958) and Emilio Greco (1913/95)


Room VII – Of the Popes

It was the largest room, where the official papal ceremonies were held

The ceiling collapsed disastrously in 1500 during a ceremony with the pope present. Alexander VI was miraculously safe but many people died

It was rebuilt in 1521 with stucco and frescoes by Giovanni Ricamatore aka Giovanni da Udine (1487/1564) and Pietro Bonaccorsi aka Perin del Vaga (1501/47) who painted the “Center of the ceiling with four angels in foreshortening” for Leo X Medici (1513/21)

“They go beyond the effects of light inaugurated by Raphael, while the accent on the elegant graphic elements must be ascribed to his Florentine education” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

“The assistant of Perin del Vaga was Giovanni da Udine, but the invention of the whole set comes exclusively from him. The task was of great importance, but it was only designed in a decorative way, not with that purity of taste that would have been worthy of Raphael. The subject - the seven planets - looks like just an excuse to create a system of panels with grotesques and small ovals with scenes containing figures, all well balanced although rich in variations. At the center is a circle with four Victories, whose garments take on a rhythmic and wonderful grace; the distribution of the whole receives from this central point its accent and its valuable support” (Hermann Voss)

The OTHER ROOMS from Room VIII to Room LV do not have significant decorations, and house, like the first seven, the marvelous Collection of Religious Modern Art

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