Tuesday, May 31, 2016



Beginning of the seventeenth century for the Centini family. Later known as Palazzo Toni and as Casa dei Pupazzi (House of the Puppets)
Renovated 1722/42 by Francesco Rosa (active since 1674/died 1687) the architect of the most beautiful sacristy of Rome, the one in S. Mary Magdalene
One Giacomo Centini was beheaded in 1635 by Urban VIII Barberini (1623/44) for plotting 'with magic' in favor of his uncle Cardinal Felice Centini as the successor to the papal throne
The writer, painter and Italian politician Massimo D'Azeglio used to have his studio here

Monday, May 30, 2016



Several different buildings unified in 1570/85 for Francesco Cenci, the father of the infamous Beatrice Cenci
The relief of the land consists of ancient Roman ruins including perhaps those of the Temple of Castor and Pollux, or more likely of the AMPHITHEATER OF STATILIUS TAURUS, built in 29 BC, the first in Rome in bricks, eventually destroyed by the fire of Nero in 64 AD
Despite their claims of antiquity dating back two thousand years, the Cenci family reliably dates back to mid-1300s



1737 for Count Alessandro Petroni
It was an expansion of a preexisting palace of the sixteenth century
FAÇADE about 1745 Ferdinando Fuga (1699/1782)
As soon as it was completed it was sold to the Bolognetti family which ended in 1775 when the last female heir married Virginio Cenci
It was the seat of the Democrazia Cristiana (Christian Democratic Party)
“Fuga applied Mannerist quotes (pilasters of the first floor windows tapered down) and allusive references to Michelangelo (in the ground floor windows, in the projection of the windows pediments and in the moldings used as shelves under the windows of the second floor)” (Gaetana Cantone - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)


Fresco representing a “Putto” maybe by Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) (1483/1520) to whom it is also traditionally assigned the painting “St. Luke painting the Virgin Mary”
“Annunciation to the Shepherds” by Jacopo Da Ponte aka Jacopo Bassano (about 1510/92)
“Polish Prince” and “Virgin Mary and Child with Angels Musician” by Antoon Van Dyck (1599/1641)
“Nymphs crown Abundance” by Peter Paul Rubens (1577/1640)
“Judith and Holofernes” by G.B. Piazzetta (1683/1754)
“The artistic expression of Piazzetta was the result of extraordinary intensity of feeling, not diluted, but deliberately concentrated in dense and short summaries of painting. In fact Piazzetta, although Venetian by birth, education and art, seems to have wanted to pursue a tantalizingly mirage of plastic perfection: so that his work ranged, because of its inherent extreme difficulty, between the highest pinnacles of art and the disappointment of not reaching the desired results. Technically, the painter is distinguished by the Venetians of his time for a strong unusual draughtsmanship, although his is a pictorial design, without anything of linear in itself. It would be enough as evidence to remind how he was the greatest drawer of the eighteenth century” (Enciclopedia Treccani)
“Self-Portrait” by Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609)
“Portrait of Pietro Bernini” maybe by his son Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680)
“Love joking”, “Bacchus and Ariadne” and “Sorrowful Madonna” by Guido Reni (1575/1642)
“Portrait of Pope Clement XI Albani (1700/21)”, “Glory of Angels”, “Madonna and Child” and “The Birth of John the Baptist” by G.B. Gaulli aka Baciccio (1639/1709)
Eight paintings including “Landscapes” by Salvator Rosa (1615/73)
Oil on copper “Virgin and St. Francis” copy from the church S. Maria della Vittoria by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641)
“Portrait of Ippolito Riminaldi”, “Portrait of Marino Corner” and “St. Jerome” Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) (about 1490/1576)
“The singer” and “Tarquin killing Lucretia” by Guido Cagnacci (1601/63)
Three paintings with “Roman Ruins” including “The Archaeologist” 1749 by Giovanni Paolo Pannini (1691/1765)
“Self Portrait” by Lavinia Fontana (1552/1614)
“Madonna and Child” by G.B. Salvi aka Sassoferrato (1609/85)
“Venus and Cupid” by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
“St. Bartholomew”, “St. Andrew” and “Portrait of a Woman” by Alessandro Allori aka Bronzino (1533/1607) a student of Agnolo di Cosimo aka Bronzino
“Rest on the Flight into Egypt” by Federico Fiori aka Barocci (1535/1612)
“Jael killing Sisera”, “Virgin in prayer” and twelve portraits by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)
“The Plague” by Mattia Preti (1613/99)
“Bacchanal” and “Immaculate Conception” by Corrado Giaquinto (1703/66)
Five paintings including “Cupid and Psyche” and “St. Benedict in the bush” 1694/95 by Benedetto Luti (1666/1724)
Four paintings by Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746)
“Faustulus entrusts Romulus and Remus to Larentia” about 1739 by Jean François de Troy (1679/1752)
“Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine” by Sebastiano Conca (1680/1764)
“Portrait of the English painter John Parker”, “Christ with St. Margaret of Cortona” and “Self-Portrait” by Marco Benefial (1684/1764)
“The simplicity of the representation (of this self-portrait by Benefial), which focuses on the individual, as it appears, ignoring attributes and ornaments, seems to be an important element of identification, together with the fiery attitude, a little contemptuous and his character shown without fear and uncertainties. A probable date for the painting is the middle of the second decade of the eighteenth century, showing the sitter here when he was about forty years old. Regarding the revolutionary art of the Roman artist Evelina Borea spoke 'of a strong and passionate naturalism absolutely innovative in those years in Rome', ‘of singular naturalistic clarity' and 'of a clarification of the detail, never giving up to decorative frills' (in E. Borea, Benefial Marco, DBI, 8, Rome, 1966, pp. .467), elements that we can fully relate to the work here examined” (Antonello Cesareo - Website of the Academy of St. Luke www.accademiasanluca.it)
“Synagogue” by the English William Hogarth (1697/1764)
“Portrait of the father Gaspar van Wittel” by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700/73)
“Allegory of Gratitude” 1706 by Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674/1755)
“The painting became part of the academic collections as 'joining gift' by Pier Leone Ghezzi. Starting from the oldest statutes of the Society, in fact, it was prescribed that each new member at the time of appointment would donate an essay of his art as a gift to the academic collections. (...) The iconography of the 'Gratitude' is derived from the 'Iconology' by Cesare Ripa. (...) The inscription on the table and the presence of the evergreen juniper allude to the durability of memory. On the day of admission of Pier Leone Ghezzi to the Academy was present Giuseppe, his father who, as the sources mention, played an important role in the education of his son” (Paola Picardi)
“Death of the Virgin Mary” by Francesco Coghetti (1801/75)
“Cathedral of Orvieto” by Annibale Angelini (1812/84)
“Funeral of Julius Caesar” and “Self-Portrait” by Pietro Gagliardi (1809/90)
“Portrait of Marianna Waldestein of Santa Cruz” by Andrea Appiani (1754/1817)
“Ulysses at the court of Alcinous” and “Triumphant Athlete” by Francesco Hayez (1791/1882)
“Self Portrait” by the Dutchman naturalized Briton Laurens Alma-Tadema (1836/1912)
“He first painted subject of medieval German history, but after a trip to Italy in 1863, he turned instead to subjects of ancient history. In 1870 he settled in London and specialized in scenes of Rome, which received great success: effects of artificial figures seen against polished marbles, illusionistic skills playing textiles, meat, metals” (Enciclopedia Treccani)
“Naked Woman” 1900 by Giulio Aristide Sartorio (1860/1932)
“Portrait of a Woman” by Scipione Vannutelli (1834/94)
Three watercolors by Enrico Coleman (1846/1911)
“Return from fishing” by Umberto Coromaldi (1870/1948)
“Farmer” and “Self-Portrait” 1958 by Giacomo Balla (1871/1958)
“The Philosopher” 1954 by Carlo Carrà (1881/1966)
“Portrait of a Woman” by Tranquillo Cremona (1837/78)
Sketch of “The Deposition” by Adolfo De Carolis (1874/1928)
“Female friends reading” and “Self-Portrait” by Ercole Drei (1886/1973)
Giovanni Antonio Canal aka Canaletto (1697/1768), Jacopo Negretti aka Jacopo Palma il Giovane (1544/1628), Paris Bordon (1500/71), Ciro Ferri (1634/89), Orazio Borgianni (1578/1616), Marcello Venusti (about 1512/79), Nicolas Poussin (1594/1665), Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62), Luigi Garzi (1638/1721), Gaspard Dughet (1615/75), Rosalba Carriera (1675/1757), Giuseppe Chiari (1654/1727), Paul Brill (1554/1626), Lazzaro Baldi (about 1624/1703), Jacques Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79) e Guillaume Courtois (1628/79) both known as Borgognone, Giacomo Zoboli (1681/1767), Giovanni Odazzi (1663/1731), Giacomo Triga (1674/1746), Gaetano Lapis (1706/76), Ludovico Gimignani (1643/97) e suo padre Giacinto Gimignani (1606/81), Pier Francesco Mola (1612/66), Giuseppe Ghezzi (1634/1721), Placido Costanzi (1702/59), Giuseppe Passeri (1654/1714), Nicolò Ricciolini (1687/1772), Laurent Pécheux (1729/1821), Domenico Corvi (1721/1803), Pierre Subleyras (1699/1749), Etienne Parrocel (1696/1774), Gaspare Landi (1756/1830), Giuseppe Cesari aka Cavalier d'Arpino (1568/1640), Jan Frans Van Bloemen aka Orizzonte (1662/1749), Gaspar van Wittel (1653/1736), Anton von Maron (1733/1808), Jean-Baptiste Wicar (1762/1834), Vincenzo Camuccini (1771/1844), Francesco Podesti (1800/95), Alessandro Capalti (1807/78), Pio Joris (1843/1921), Francesco Grandi (1831/91), Silverio Capparoni (1831/1907), Tommaso Minardi (1787/1871), Ludovico Seitz (1844/1908), Ludovico Stern (1709/77), Giulio Bargellini (1896/1936), Cesare Mariani (1826/1901), Antonio Mancini (1852/1930), Fausto Pirandello (1899/1975) and other

“Portrait of Napoleon as First Consul” by Antonio Canova (1757/1822)
“Bust of a Woman” by Emilio Greco (1913/95)
“Self-Portrait” by Ettore Ximenes (1855/1926)
“Female Head (Portrait of Lalla)” by Ercole Drei (1886/1973)
“Portrait of Francesco Podesti” by Michele Tripisciano (1860/1913)
In addition bronzes by Venanzo Crocetti (1913/2003), Filippo Cifariello (1864/1936), Francesco Nagni (1897/1977) and others
Relief “Leo XI Medici (1605) received the abjuration of Henry IV” model for the monument in the Basilica of St. Pietro by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654)
Group “Achilles and Penthesilea” 1773 by Vincenzo Pacetti (1746/1820)
“Perseus freeing Andromeda” 1786 by the Frenchman Joseph Chinard (1756/1813)
Pietro Bracci (1700/73), Filippo Della Valle (1698/1768), Antonio Della Bitta (1807/about 1879), Ettore Ferrari (1845/1929), Carlo Fontana (1865/1956), G.B. Maini (1690/1752), Giuseppe Mazzuoli (1644/1725) and Ercole Rosa (1846/93)

Saturday, May 14, 2016



There are more than 1,000 paintings, about 300 sculptures, about 1500 drawings and a collection of prints and medals, some shown to the public, most in storage
Room of Academic Education
Selection of the numerous works of art by famous and not so famous artists who were annually presented and awarded at the closing ceremony of the public academic competitions at the Capitoline Hill in the eighteenth and nineteenth century
Collection of Plaster Casts
Opened in 2008
Five casts including bas-relief “Socrates defends Alcibiades at the Battle of Potidea” and “Portrait of Clement XIII Rezzonico (1758/69)” 1784/86 by Antonio Canova (1757/1822)
Seven casts including “Ganymede and the Eagle” 1817 by Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770/1844)
Two casts by Pietro Tenerani (1789/1869)
Also works by the Dutchman Mathieu Kessels (1784/1836), the Welsh pupil of Canova John Gibson (1790/1866), the German Emil Wolff (1802/79), Attilio Selva (1888/1970), Bernardo Tacca (1780/1826) and Giulio Tadolini (1849/1918)
Cabinet of Drawings
Three sets of tables on the study of perspective, anatomy, and the system of architectural orders, all dating back to the second half of the seventeenth century
Group of architectural drawings, spectacular in terms of design but also for the techniques of graphic representation, which documents the practice of donating samples to the institution, by statute, by the newly elected academic
Confidential Cabinet
Paintings from the Pinacoteca Capitolina (Capitoline Art Gallery) whose subjects in 1823 were judged 'not decent for being seen publicly' and then removed from the rooms, with the exception of the great Bacchus and Ariadne by Guido Reni, who was exhibited until 1841 and it is now located along the main staircase
These “scandalous” paintings were placed temporarily in a 'confidential cabinet' before being donated, between 1836 and 1845, to the Accademia di S. Luca for educational purposes
Collection of Works by Contemporary Academic Masters
The collections include the works of young artists deemed worthy of the prize competitions organized over the centuries by the Accademia di S. Luca
Mascarino Fund
253 architectural drawings, 150 of which related to Roman buildings, from the workshop of Ottaviano Nonni aka Ottaviano Mascherino (1524/1606), Prince of the Academy in 1604
Historical Archive and Sarti Library
Over 42,000 books donated to the City of Rome in 1877 by the favorite architect of the Torlonia family Antonio Sarti (1797/1880), important for the documentation of architecture and art history

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


1577 maybe by pupils of Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) for the Vaini family originally from Imola
Renovated 1643/47 by Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) initially for count Ambrogio Carpegna, who had bought the building from the Vaini family, and later for Cardinal Ulderico Carpegna
The most beautiful element left of Borromini's work is the splendid PORTAL
“Of the designs of Borromini for the building very little was done, but there is a series of bold projects that anticipate the development of the eighteenth-century Italian palazzo” (Rudolf Wittkower)
Marquis Emilio Orsini de' Cavalieri Sannesi bought it and entrusted the completion and the structural adjustment in the years 1732/36 to Francesco Ferrari (active in Rome 1721/44)
Subsequently it passed into the property of the families Patrizi Naro and Colligola Monthioni
From mid-1800 until 1882 it housed the family of Luigi Pianciani, first mayor of Rome after the unification of Italy
1933/34 radical restructuring of the building under the direction of Gustavo Giovannoni (1873/1947) and Arnaldo Foschini (1884/1968) to adapt it as the headquarters of the Accademia di S. Luca (Academy of St. Luke)
When the headquarters were opened in 1934, the GROUND FLOOR was to house exhibitions of art and architecture with spaces reserved for keeping collections and funds of academic drawings and books. Also the upper floors were restored and connected with the new internal staircase
On the FIRST FLOOR there are the offices of the presidency and secretariat, conference room and the boardroom
In the SECOND FLOOR there are the Sarti Library, the Historical Archives and the administrative offices
The THIRD FLOOR houses the Gallery and the vault with the paintings not on display
The ACCADEMIA DI S. LUCA was an association of artists of Rome, established in 1577 but officially founded in 1593 by Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609), who was also the first director (prince), with the desire to consider artists as much more than simple artisans
During the first years of activity the Academy ended up in the orbit of papal patronage, which dominated and controlled the institution
The Academy was named during the early seventeenth century after the Evangelist S. Luke because of his appointment as the patron of all painters. According to the legend, Luke was the author of the first portrait of the Madonna
In 1620 Urban VIII Barberini (1623/44) granted the right to the Academy to determine who could be considered an “artist” in Rome
The Academy was intended by many modern critics to give high education to the artists but at the same time to exercise direct control of the Church on them
The Principi dell'Accademia di S. Luca (Princes of the Academy of St. Luke) were eminent artistic personalities elected by the faculty. Among those who played this role there were people like Gian Lorenzo Bernini or Domenichino
Many important artists stayed outside and were never allowed in the circuit of the academy. For this reason alternative school of artists were established in Rome, objecting the way this official institution understood art. One of the most famous was the School of Bamboccianti

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


1516 for Jacopo Cardelli who unified pre-existing buildings
It was the Domus Magna of the family who also owned the nearby Palazzo di Firenze as the ceremonial Palatium
1592 FAÇADE by Francesco Capriani aka Francesco da Volterra (1535/94)
The palace was completed in 1602 by Gaspare Guerra (about 1560/1622)
Further work 1630/39 by Francesco Peparelli (active since 1626/d. 1641)
In the second half of the nineteenth century the building was extended towards Via del Clementino keeping the original style
It was raised with a third floor in 1925
It is still inhabited by the counts Cardelli, a family who settled in Rome in early fifteen century from the Romagna region
In 1538 the children of Jacopo Cardelli bought the space of the square in front of the building to keep the space free from buildings
Inside there are paintings in the splays of the windows maybe by Francesco Allegrini (1587/1663)
One of the few remaining in Rome
Stucco sculpture “Apollo” by the pupil of Bernini Pietro Paolo Naldini (1619/91)

Friday, May 6, 2016


1449/51 for Cardinal Domenico Capranica who incorporated existing buildings and the Chapel of St. Agnes
Along with Palazzo Venezia it is the first Roman Renaissance palace
Restored in about 1660 by Giovanni Antonio De Rossi (1616/95)
The SECOND FLOOR was built at the beginning of the eighteenth century
Restructured in 1955 by Giuseppe Breccia Fratadocchi (1898/1955) for Pius XII Pacelli (1939/58). It was the architect was also rebuilt the Abbey of Monte Cassino
Chapel of St. Agnes
1775, rebuilt in 1955 by Giuseppe Breccia Fratadocchi
Panel “Madonna and Child with two saints and the Capranica cardinals” 1451 Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano (about 1435-40/1508) and workshop
In the sacristy there is the Cappellina della Madonna (Small Chapel of the Virgin Mary) and the detached fresco “Madonna and Child” by Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano and workshop
Almo Collegio Capranica
It plays a primary role in the education of the clergy and two of his former students have become popes: Benedict XV Della Chiesa (1914/22) and Pius XII Pacelli (1939/58)
The title of almo (which gives life) reminds of those teachers and students of the college who sacrificed their life near Porta S. Spirito to defend the pope during the sack of Rome in 1527
On the ground floor there is the CINEMA CAPRANICA one of the oldest auditoriums in Rome

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Built in the sixteenth century for the Capponi, an important Florentine family
The exact date of construction and the architect are unknown
In the second half of the sixteenth century the property passed to the Casali family from Bologna
It was expanded in the seventeenth century
At the beginning of the nineteenth century it was bought by the Dall'Olio family for whom Virginio Vespignani (1808/82) did partial reconstruction in 1840 and designed the FAÇADE
Since the beginning of the twentieth century it belongs to the Antonelli family
The two buildings of the sixteenth and seventeenth century are joined by a transverse porch
In the GARDEN there are remains of ancient Roman structures and a beautiful fountain