Monday, December 14, 2015


1650/55 masterpiece by Giovanni Antonio De Rossi (1616/95) with Mattia De Rossi (1637/95) for Cardinal G.B. Altieri
With the election of Emilio Altieri as Pope Clement X (1670/76) widening and completion by De Rossi with the purchase of adjacent houses, except that of a lady known as “Mrs. Bertha” who refused to sell her house to the pope and ended up having it surrounded and incorporated in the palace
Renewed later by Alessandro Speroni, Clemente Orlandi (1694/1775) and, in the years 1787/94, by Giuseppe Barberi (1746/1809) for the Paluzzi Albertoni family
“The rooms were architecturally and decoratively executed from projects and under the direction of Barberi, who tempered the eighteenth century style with a wonderful pre-neoclassical taste. For exquisite elegance, proportions, color harmony and refinement we do not know in Rome any example of a higher quality of interior architecture in the second half of the eighteenth century. The work (...) gives the idea of the balance, great inventive and artistic capability of Barberi, who, succeeded as architect of the Altieri to Clemente Orlandi, began work as early as February 1787, directing operations for seven years” (Andrea Busiri Vici - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
It is currently a building occupied in part by the Italian Banking Association ABI, and by other two banks FINNAT and Banca Popolare di Novara, in part by private owners including descendents of the Altieri, whose direct line became extinct in 1955
Here lived the writer Carlo Levi
The actress Anna Magnani lived in the attic for 20 years and died there in 1974
Statue of “Barbarian prisoner” found at the Theatre of Pompey
In the vault spectacular “Apotheosis of Romulus” 1676 by Domenico Maria Canuti (1626/84) in a quadrature by Enrico Haffner (1640/1702)
In the vault “Triumph of Mercy” or sacred and Christian Rome accompanied by Peace and Virtue crowned by Honour during the reign of Clement X 1674/77 by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)
“Maratta wished to restore the autonomous nature of the painted surface: once more the painting is framed in a clear and simple way. He also wanted to restore the autonomy of the individual figure. He returned to the classic principle of composing with a few figures and with an evenly lit palette that invites you to focus attention on the figure designed plastically, on its attitude and gestures. He almost abandons upside down perspectives, but, characteristic fact, he doesn't rediscover either the austere classicism of the set out framework of early Baroque. Moreover, his figures are themselves more baroque and less Raphael-like than he liked to believe. Maratta had gone quite forward towards the reconciliation of two opposing tendencies, the baroque and classical. He followed a nice middle ground” (Rudolf Wittkower)
Vaults and lunettes painted by Salvator Rosa (1615/73), Felice Giani (1758/1823), Cristoforo Unterberger (1732/98) and Francesco Cozza (1605/82)
Cabinet in the apartment of Prince Paluzzo Altieri
In the vault painting “Apotheosis of Romulus” by Stefano Tofanelli (1752/1812)
Above the doors “Scene of the Rape of the Sabines” of four important painters of the second half of 1700s: Giuseppe Cades (1750/99), Francesco Manno (1752/1831), Anton von Maron (1733/1808) and Antonio Cavallucci (1752/95)
On the floor “Mosaic of Mars and Rhea Silvia” found in Ostia Antica in 1783
In the vault “Chariot of the Sun” 1675 by Fabrizio Chiari (about 1615/95) and paintings by Giuseppe Cades and Salvator Rosa
“Landscapes” 1794/95 by Giuseppe Barberi (1746/1809) and Francesco Di Capua
Now it is the Altieri family archive
“Bust of Pope Clement X” by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) with spectacular curtain stucco supported by angels in flight by Giacomo Filippo Schor son of Giovanni Paolo Schor

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