Thursday, April 7, 2016

BRASCHI PALACE (first part)


1791/96 Cosimo Morelli (1732/1812) for Pius VI Braschi (1775/99) who wanted a home for his nephew Luigi Braschi Onesti
A previously existing building dating to 1435 which belonged to the Orsini family was demolished. It had been enlarged in 1501 by Cardinal Carafa and had a tower by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
Cosimo Morelli was from Imola, the same area from which the pope came, and he was also the architect of the Cathedral of Imola and those of Macerata and Fermo, as well as the theaters of Imola, Fermo and L'Aquila
“Morelli drew models from famous Roman buildings of the sixteenth century, with citations of works in Emilia, through a selection process aiming to reduce everything to a simple and correct style. Trying to blend simplicity and monumental, in the fa├žades made in travertine and brickwork, with use of ashlar, he made the architectural elements busier and reversed what had been the Renaissance grandeur” (Davide Righini - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
Completed 1802/11 by Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839) for the Duke Luigi Braschi Onesti
It was the last Roman palace to be commissioned by a family of popes
It was sold by the heirs of the family Braschi to the Italian State in 1871, and for fifty years it was the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior
In 1930 it became the seat of the Fascist Federation of Rome
Immediately after the armistice of 8 September 1943 it was occupied by the minions of Gino Bardi and Guglielmo Pollastrini, two fascist thugs who reconstituted the Fascist Federation of Rome. So a reign of terror began and the palace was the seat of prison and torture at the hands of the so-called banda di Palazzo Braschi (gang of Palazzo Braschi)
After the war three hundred homeless families lived in the palace until 1949, causing serious damage to the decorations
PAINTED DECORATIONS ON ALL THREE FLOORS OF THE BUILDING by the painter Liborio Coccetti (1739/1816) from Foligno, begun as early as 1791. The four rooms on the first floor cannot be attributed to him with certainty
“In his early work in Umbria he expressed himself in a language that shows full participation to the rococo culture, with remarkable results for panache and finesse, and shows, especially in the paintings on historical themes, relations with the Roman culture of the first half of the eighteenth century, especially with Sebastiano Conca. On an unspecified date he moved to Rome, where the patronage of Pope Braschi won him important commissions. (...) Since 1779 he had a succession of prestigious jobs in Rome and Lazio, in which shows a progressive approach to the neoclassical style. It can be said that there was no Roman family wishing to upgrade their townhouse or country that did not ask for his work” (Vittorio Casale - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
“Stories of Love and Psyche” about 1610 by Ludovico Cardi aka Cigoli (1559/1613) and “Annunciation of the Virgin” school of Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609) and Taddeo Zuccari (1529/66)
CHAPEL designed by Giuseppe Valadier
During the fascist regime it became the chapel of the fallen fascists
On the right “St. Francis” by Guido Reni (1575/1642)
On the altar “Ivory Crucifix” of the eighteen century
Every Sunday morning at 11 Mass is celebrated here

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