Thursday, March 30, 2017


Erected as Palazzo Peretti in 1624 on the former palace built in the years 1281/87 for the English cardinal Hugh Atratus of Evesham to the left of S. Lorenzo in Lucina
At the beginning of 1500s it was home of the Portuguese Cardinal Giorgio de Costa, who, occupying an apartment on the Roman arch adjacent to the palace, ended up having the arch referred to as ARCH OF PORTUGAL
It then passed to the Ottoboni family, Dukes of Fiano and finally in 1898 to the Almagià family who are still the owners
FAÇADE ON PIAZZA S. LORENZO IN LUCINA 1888 by Francesco Settimj (active 1875/88)
In 1568 nine sculptured blocks belonging to the Ara Pacis, which was originally located on this site, were discovered on the corner of Via in Lucina and Via del Giardino Theodoli, under the current CINEMA NUOVO OLIMPIA
In 1859 other findings were found during work directed by Gioacchino Ersoch (1815/1902)
In the atrium and in the courtyard-garden there is a collection of Roman marble reliefs and inscriptions
Vault with “Mythological scenes, landscapes and allegorical figures” by Baldassare Croce (about 1553/1628)


Built at the end of 1500s maybe by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) for Ottavio Del Bufalo
Rebuilt in the years 1626/41 by Francesco Peparelli (active since 1626/d. 1641) for Paolo Del Bufalo
Renovated in 1871 by the marquises Ferrajoli who, in part, still live in the palace
In the COURTYARD there is the “Fountain of Ceres”

Monday, March 27, 2017

FARNESE PALACE (third part)

Camerino (Dressing Room)
First to be painted for Cardinal Odoardo Farnese with “Scenes of the myths of Hercules, Odysseus and Perseus” 1595 by Annibale Carracci who followed the theme of “The Virtues prevails over Vice” thought by the humanist Fulvio Orsini
The central painting “Hercules at the Crossroads” is at the Museum of Capodimonte in Naples
“Like any great artist, Annibale created something completely new in comparison to his models; he joined the nuanced of Correggio and the warm tonal values of the Venetians to the austere compositions and figurative concepts of late Renaissance in Central Italy, while at the same time, he knew how to give his figures sculptural qualities and plasticity one would seek in vain during the late Renaissance” (Rudolf Wittkower)
Hall of Hercules
Wooden ceiling by Jacopo Barozzi aka Vignola (1507/73) who also designed the polychrome fireplace
On either side of the fireplace statues “Abundance” and “Peace” 1555/75 by Guglielmo Della Porta (1515/77) for the tomb of Pope Paul III in the apse of the Basilica of St. Peter, but never put in place because, as Vasari wrote, “They left to be desired in chastity
Chamber of the Cardinal
1547 frieze by Daniele da Volterra (1509/66)
Hall of the Farnese Glory
Great mannerist frescoes:
“Celebration of the greatness of the Farnese family: deeds of Paul III (pope of the Council of Trent and peace of Nice between Charles V and the French King Francis I) and celebration of Ranuccio the Elder (represented in the guise of Aeneas) and Peter V Farnese” 1522/56 by Francesco de' Rossi aka Francesco Salviati (1510/63)
“Here for the first time Salviati represented stories with costumes of his time, and we must admit that, despite all the exaggerations of his style of the late period, here dominate a grandeur and a pathos never achieved by any Florentine artist. The walls with frescoes are two, both divided by the same system: in the center, a figure on a throne with chained slaves (...), above, a canopy with allegories full of figures, on the sides, historical scenes, and as a crowning frieze, the usual naked bodies on their knees with medallions and festoons of fruit” (Hermann Voss)
The paintings were completed in 1563 by Taddeo Zuccari (1529/66)
Cultural institution located on the top floor since 1875
“Boundary stone limiting the Tiber” with the name of the censors of 54 BC
Remains of large public buildings in brick with three phases of construction of which the second, Domitian, is the most important
“Mosaics of desultores (acrobats) on horseback” in relation to the near Tarentum and to the Stabula factionum the stables of the four teams of charioteers two of which were in the vicinity
The Veneta (blue) was in the area of Piazza Farnese and the Prasina (green) in the area of S. Lorenzo in Damaso

Sunday, March 26, 2017

FARNESE PALACE (second part)


For Cardinal Odoardo Farnese
Panels above the windows:
“Allegory” and mythological episodes: “Perseus and Andromeda”, “Diana and Callisto”, “Woman with the Unicorn”, “Prisoners”, “Apollo and Hyacinth”, “Death of Adonis” by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641)
Vault painted with “Triumph of Love in the Universe” 1597/1604 masterpiece by Annibale Carracci (1560/1609) with the help of his brother Agostino Carracci (1557/1602), Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647) and Domenichino:
In the center:
“Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne” for the wedding of the elder brother of Odoardo Farnese, Ranuccio Farnese, Duke of Parma, with twelve-year-old Margherita Aldobrandini, grand-nephew of Clement VIII Aldobrandini (1592/1605)
“The ancient reliefs of the sarcophagi dedicated to Dionysus were the main source of inspiration. Raphael's Galatea too was an inevitable inspiration - in the twist of the torso of Ariadne - just like the Nudes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. It is his meeting with historical models that highlights the qualities of the original mediator, free interpreter of that culture. He was able to instill in this work vigor and spontaneity of action, so that the story, the mythical exaltation of a lost golden age, absorbs the viewer. It is again an affirmation of the power of persuasion of images” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“He drew the most from the carnal opulence found by Carracci in Phidias and Michelangelo. It was an unimaginable anomaly in the art of Rome of Clement VIII, so that Odoardo was very worried that the pope could see the frescoes” (Peter Robb)
“It's wonderful! Four hundred times I've seen the original and I'm not tired of getting great pleasure out of it: is the effect of beauty. (...) He was paid 500 scudi for the gallery which, without doubt, is the most beautiful work in Rome after that of Raphael, and, at the time it was painted, it could not have been worth less than 25,000 scudi” (Gian Lorenzo Bernini)
Paintings with “Pan and Diana” and “Mercury and Paris” respectively introduced by the smaller depictions of “Ganymede and the Eagle” and “Apollo and Hyacinth”
Frieze at the base of the vault:
Within painted frames “Polyphemus furious with Aci”, “Polyphemus in love with Galatea”, “Aurora and Cephalus”, “Peleus and Thetis” (the latter also interpreted as Venus and Merman)
In the other minor panels:
Famous pairs of lovers of mythology: “Hercules and Iole”, “Venus and Anchises”, “Diana and Endymion” and the sensual “Jupiter and Juno”
In the corners of the vault:
“Couple of cupids fighting”
Fake bronze medallions of the frieze:
“Episodes from Ovid's Metamorphoses”
Short sides:
“Perseus and Andromeda” and “Perseus and Phineus”
“Annibale chose a mixed decoration, for he adopted the quadratura (subdivisions into frames), a painted architecture adorned with herms and caryatids, and the painted frames containing mythological scenes as if they were framed easel paintings transferred onto the ceiling. Painting thus makes us imagine architectural spaces, ancient sculptures, figures portrayed from real life and the illusion persuades us of the truth of those images; the pictorial space becomes as real as the one experienced by the viewer in the living room of the gallery. This convincing affirmation of the autonomy and the intrinsic value of the image already belongs to the dawn of the Baroque poetry; in fact, the exaltation of the senses, the viewing, the great freedom of composition and therefore the excitement of fantasy and imagination are elements that would feed that style” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

FARNESE PALACE (first part)

1513/46 Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546) for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, the future Pope Paul III (1534/49) who, once he became pope in 1534, completely renewed the project, doubling the size
The Palace of the Cardinal Albergati-Ferriz was demolished to make room for the building. It used to stand in the right end side area of the palace. Paul III also bought two blocks of irregular shape in front of the building and demolished them to create the square
Some of the materials used for the construction were in part taken from the Constantinian Basilica of St. Lawrence outside the Walls
Sangallo was succeeded by three great architects:
1546/49 Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) who designed the huge CORNICE overhanging about 2 m (6.5 feet), the central balcony with the Farnese coat of arms, part of the SECOND and ALL OF THE THIRD ORDER OF THE COURTYARD
1549/73 Jacopo Barozzi aka Vignola (1507/73) who continued it for the two cardinal nephews Ranuccio (d. 1565) and Alessandro Farnese. They were sons of Pierluigi, one of the four children of Paul III
1573/89 Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602) who completed the REAR WING
The building was so completed in 76 years
It was nicknamed DADO DEI FARNESE (the Farnese Dice) and was considered one of the four wonders of Rome with Palazzo Borghese, the door of the Palazzo Sciarra and the staircase of Palazzo Ruspoli
“Not even twenty years had passed since Peruzzi had built the Farnesina, a pleasant home, in open air, with a lot of light, trees and gardens. Well, Palazzo Farnese is the opposite and indicates a serious decline of Roman society, overwhelmed by the pride of caste and the arrogance of the great families. The monumentality of Palazzo Farnese is no longer expressive of ideals and history: the moment in which the authority is transformed into power, the beauty turns into decoration, the solemnity in pride unnecessarily cloaked in austerity. Not for nothing Palazzo Farnese is the archetype of what it will be in 1600s and in 1700s, i.e. at the time of monarchical absolutism, the royal palace” (Giulio Carlo Argan)
From 1635 it was rented to France who made it the seat of the French embassy
With the extinction of the Farnese family in 1731 and the marriage of the niece of the last heir, Elizabeth, with the King of Spain, Philip V of Bourbon, their assets passed to their son Charles V of Bourbon and the palace became home of the Minister of Naples
In 1861 it hosted the King Francis II and his wife exiled from Naples thanks to a restoration of the interior by Antonio Cipolla (1822/74)
Since 1874 it was again rented to France for its embassy and in 1911 the rent changed into sale for three million francs with right of redemption within 25 years
The right was exercised in 1936 when it was bought by the Italian state and transferred to France for 99 years with a symbolic fee of one lira per year
Italy has the same treatment for reciprocity with its embassy in Paris, the Hôtel de La Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville, a dignified palace but truly laughable when compared to the absolute masterpiece in the history of Western art that is Palazzo Farnese
The building is still, at least until 2035, the French Embassy
“Two sarcophagi” from the Tomb of Cecilia Metella on the right and from the Baths of Caracalla on the left

Friday, March 24, 2017


Built in early 1500 for the Ceci family
Sold in 1574 to the Odescalchi family and, in early 1600s, to Mario Farnese
Sold again in 1637 to Orazio Falconieri belonging to a family of Tuscan bankers who had the FAÇADE (in part), the LOGGIA and the ROOF TERRACE restructured in the years 1646/49 by his friend Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) with the proceeds of the salt trade
The Falconieri family died out in 1865
Since 1927 it is home of the ACCADEMIA D’UNGHERIA (Hungarian Academy) with a library of over 20,000 volumes
“The U-shaped façade overlooking the river, dominated by the loggia proves the versatility of the extraordinary genius of Borromini. His problem was to merge the old and new parts in a unit uniquely marked by his own style. He solved it by gradually increasing the height of the four floors and inverting the traditional graduation of the orders. The ground floor is divided by simple wide bands; in the following floor the same motive is given more prominence; the third floor has ionic pilasters and above these are the columns of the loggia that are set back. So instead of decrease from the ground up, the divisions of the walls grow in importance and plasticity. Only in the context of the entire façade is revealed in full the unconventional and anti-classical style of the motive for the loggia” (Rudolf Wittkower)
Red room, blue room and two green rooms with stunning “Stucco ceilings” made in 1646 by Francesco Borromini
Strange mixture of symbolic, Masonic and hermetic vocabulary (the three circles of gold, the axis mundi) which show one of the most surprising decorative styles of the Roman Baroque
The plasters were originally white and were painted in 1781 on the occasion of the marriage of Constanza Confalonieri
In a room on the ground floor in the vault fresco “Parnassus” maybe of the end of the sixteenth century by Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


1875/89 as MINISTRY OF WAR
Large MILITARY CENTRAL LIBRARY with books mainly of military subjects
More than 120,000 volumes and 1,000 journals both Italian and foreign as well as about 1,200 antique books
In the basement is partially preserved the BUNKER where on the night between 8 and 9 September 1943 general Pietro Badoglio and members of the Italian royal family came from the nearby Palazzo del Quirinale to escape the chaos that followed the armistice between the Italian government and the Allied Forces
On the other side of Via XX Settembre there are four palaces built during the same period:
PALAZZO BOURBON 1884 at No. 3 and PALAZZO CALABRESI 1882 at No. 5 by Gaetano Koch (1849/1910)
PALAZZO BARACCHINI 1886 at No. 8 and PALAZZO CAPRARA 1884 at No. 11 by Giulio Podesti (1857/1909)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Velvet Room
The room was so named for the late eighteenth-century Genoese wallpaper
“Hagar and the Angel” recently attributed to the unknown Genoese Pasquale Chiesa (active in Rome about 1562) who also worked on the “Sacrifice of Isaac”
“Hagar and the Angel” by Mattia Preti (1613/99)
“Painting, sculpture and architecture” 1713 by Marco Benefial (1684/1764)
“Cain and Abel” by Niccolò Tornioli (1598/1651) from Siena
Busts of “Innocent X” and “Benedetto Pamphilj” (or perhaps Pamphiljo?) by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654)
Ballroom and Small Ballroom
Completely redecorated in 1903
In the small ballroom: “The tribute of money” by Mattia Preti (1613/99)
1689/91 Carlo Fontana (1634/1714) and modified by Francesco Nicoletti (?/1776) in the second half of 1700s and by Andrea Busiri Vici (1818/1911) in mid-1800s
Ceiling “Coronation of the Virgin Mary” by Tommaso Minardi (1787/1871)
Bodies of two saints: the Roman martyr S. Giusto, traditionally called the Centurion, and S. Teodora
“Ivory Crucifix” by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86)
ROOM G (Bookshop)
“Landscape with deer hunting” and “Landscape with hare hunting” by Paul Brill (1554/1626)
Private Apartment
Designed by Francesco Nicoletti (?/1776)
It was the toilet room of Leopoldina of Savoy, wife of Prince Andrea IV in 1767
Ceiling and panels above the doors painted by the Roman Stefano Pozzi (1699/1768)
It was the old bedroom
Ceiling “Jacob's Dream” by Pietro Angeletti (about 1737/98)
In the middle “Cradle” in carved and gilded wood
“Tapestry” about 1795 by the Gobelins factories with allegories of the zodiac signs
Ceiling “Rebecca at the Well” by Gioacchino Agricola (known 1758/85)
Ceiling “David and Abigail” by Domenico Corvi (1721/1803) from Viterbo
“View of St. Mark's Square in Venice” by Josef Heintz the Younger (about 1600/78)
Family portraits of the nineteenth century by Antonio Capalti
Ceiling “Hagar and the Angel” by Pietro Angeletti (about 1737/98)
Twenty-three paintings of “Landscapes” by Crescenzio Onofri (1632/1712)
Ceiling “Sacrifice of Iphigenia” by Gioacchino Agricola (known 1758/85)

Monday, March 20, 2017


Fourth Corridor
“Bust of Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj” masterpiece by Alessandro Algardi (1598/1654)
“Unlike Bernini who chooses a transitory moment, Algardi represent his model with the mouth closed, in a state of permanence and peaceful existence. Even the most meticulous attention to detail, down to the wrinkles and warts, and how skilled to treat the skin, hair and fur, you do not need to give these portraits the dynamic vitality of those by Bernini. Compared to Bernini, who never loses sight of the whole in which each part is subject, the busts of 'Algardi seem aggregates of an infinite number of accurate observations made before the model “(Rudolf Wittkower)
“Susanna and the Elders” recently attributed to Annibale Carracci (1560/1609) after it has been believed for a long time by Domenichino
“Landscape with Ford” about 1605 by Domenico Zampieri aka Domenichino (1581/1641)
“In the landscaping genre Domenichino, free from selective rigors, approached the truth of nature. Even if similar to Annibale Carracci's style, this ideal landscape presents vivid realistic notations” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“St. Joseph” by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
“Angel with tambourine” by Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) (about 1490/1576)
“Sorrowful Madonna” by Francesco Trevisani (1656/1746)
“Lady Penitent” by Luca Cambiaso (1527/85)
“Agony in the Garden” by Marcello Venusti (about 1512/79)
“Madonna and Child with Sts. Catherine and Bernard” by Ludovico Carracci (1555/1619)
“Nativity” and “Madonna and Child” by Francesco Mazzola aka Parmigianino (1503/40)
“Penitent Magdalene”, “St. John the Baptist” and “Concerto” by Mattia Preti (1613/99)
“Four Allegories of the elements”: fire, air, earth and water by Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568/1625) (son of Pieter Brueghel the Elder) and Hendrick van Balen (1575/1632)
In addition “Madonna and Child with animals”, “Paradise on Earth with original sin”, “Landscape with the creation of man”, “Landscape with Temptation of St. Anthony”, “Landscape with a vision of St. John on Patmos” and “Landscape with foundry” also by Jan Brueghel the Elder
“St. Paul” by Giacinto Brandi (1621/91)
“St. Peter Penitent” and “Liberation of St. Peter” by Sisto Badalocchio (1585/1645)
“Battle scene” and “After the Battle” by Jacques Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79)
“Sacrifice of Isaac” by Jan Lievens (1607/74)
“Christ and the Doctors” by Ludovico Mazzoli aka Ludovico Mazzolino (about 1479/about 1529)
“Erminia among the shepherds” by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (1610/62)
“Rest on the Flight into Egypt” by Simone Cantarini (1612/48)
“Bust of Pope Innocent X” about 1650 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680). The crack led Bernini to replicate it with the one now in the Cabinet of Velásquez
Poussin Hall
Twenty-four “Landscapes” including “Landscape with Lucan Bridge” by Gaspard Dughet (1615/75) also known as Poussin for being part of the family of his master Nicolas Poussin (1594/1665): he was his brother-in-law (brother of Poussin's wife) and his adopted son
Seven were carried out in collaboration with the painter of figurines Guillaume Courtois aka Borgognone (1628/79) brother of Jacques Courtois he said Borgognone
“Dughet was the first to apply the technique of fresco to the landscape genre and could use large spaces, in churches or palaces, to carry out his views. Assimilating the new Baroque spirit, he emphasized the decorative aspects of the representation which gave spectacular effects of infinite space; despite having a classical figurative culture, Dughet mediated the rational spirit with the search for expressive and picturesque accents” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
Other landscapes by Flemish artists such as Herman Van Swanevelt, Jan Baptist Weenix and Jan de Momper (1614/84)

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Second Corridor or Gallery of Mirrors
1731/34 Gabriele Valvassori (1683/1761)
Ancient statues completed arbitrarily by restorers
Ceiling fresco “Fall of Giants”, “Stories of Hercules” and “Allegory of the four parts of the world” 1731/34 by Aureliano Milani (1675/1749)
“It is a culmination of the Carracci influence on Milani, having the decoration of the Farnese Gallery as an essential point of reference. It is, therefore, a work entirely referring to the past, from the reprise of the fake frames scheme, essentially isolated and anomalous in the panorama of contemporary Roman painting, and indeed in strong contrast with the novelties of Sebastiano Conca and Luca Giordano. According to Zanotti, Milani, 'having been able to choose the subjects of his stories, chose muscular, naked and proud men which here constitutes the sum of his knowledge' (p. 165): there was actually no iconographic link between episodes of Fall of Giants and those with Hercules as the protagonist, and Milani's obsession for depiction of nudes here reaches paroxysm” (Stefano Pierguidi)
“Passage of the Red Sea” by Antonio Tempesta (about 1555/1630)
Cabinet of Velásquez
“Portrait of Pope Innocent X Pamphilj (1644/55)” by Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velásquez (1599/1660)
“Bust of Pope Innocent X” about 1650 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) replicated immediately after a previous version now in the fourth corridor had shown a crack
First Corridor
“Landscape with the Flight into Egypt” 1603/04 for the now demolished Chapel of the Palazzo Aldobrandini and “Landscape with Mary Magdalene Penitent” by Annibale Carracci (1560/1609) who maybe also painted a “St. Jerome”
“Annibale, first among the seventeenth-century interpreters of classical style, started up, in the last years of his intense activity, a new figurative conception of landscape painting. Flight into Egypt is the archetype of the classical ideal landscape. That classicist poetics that had inspired figure painting and art history and which had underlined the search for truth and beauty, now involves the concept of nature. This balanced and rational interpretation of space is a mirror of a classical path of idealization. Nature too is pervaded by the inspiration of beauty; through a complex, sentimental and poetic relationship nature becomes part of life, of history, of humanity. The landscape becomes ideal as home of the myths of humankind” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Madonna and Saints in Glory” and “Holy Family” by Benvenuto Tisi aka Garofalo (about 1481/1559)
“Landscape with the creation of animals” formerly lid of a spinet maybe by the Belgians Roelandt Savery (1576/1639) and Hendrick van Balen (1575/1632)
“Landscape with figures dancing”, “Landscape with Diana, Cephalus and Procris,” “Landscape with Apollo and Mercury stealing the sheep of Admetus” and “View of Delphi with a procession” by Claude Lorrain (1600/82)
“He continued the nobilitation of nature in art, he had an extraordinary immediate relationship with the Roman countryside which he studied in depth. Lorrain was a master in interpreting the mutability of light depending on the season and time of day, and he always adopted a thoughtful compositional arrangement of these naturalistic elements” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Polyphemus and Galatea” by Giovanni Lanfranco (1582/1647)
Five lunettes with landscapes and stories from the New Testament:
“Assumption” “Visitation,” “Deposition of Christ,” “Adoration of the Shepherds” and “Adoration of the Magi” drawn by Annibale Carracci but completed by Francesco Albani (1578/1660)
“The Holy Family with Saints Catherine and Cecilia” also by Francesco Albani
“Christ in the Pharisee's house” by Ludovico Cardi aka Cigoli (1559/1613)
“Landscape with old blind Tobias” by Pietro Paolo Bonzi aka the Hunchback of Carracci (about 1576/1636)
“Venus, Mars and Cupid” by Paris Bordon (1500/71)
“Fight of putti” by Andrea Podestà (about 1608/before 1674)
“Erminia finds Tancred wounded” by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
“S. Rocco leper cured by the Angels” by Carlo Saraceni (1579/1620)
“The chromatic sensitivity, expressed through bright colors and detectable in works like this, resolved Caravaggio's luminosity in tonal and naturalistic sense; light effects agreed on gradual color tones, in fact, derive from a natural reality and give the subject psychological tension. Saracens was the only artist of Venetian training, as well as the experiences of some artists from Verona, to be engaged in the Caravaggio research and, however, his clear palette and the frequent outdoors scenes consistently reaffirmed his background” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Rustic Feast” maybe by David Teniers the Younger (1610/90)
“Woman getting read of fleas” by the so-called Master of the Candle
“Dido” by Giovanni Luteri aka Dosso Dossi (about 1486/1542)
“The usurers” by the Belgian Quinten Massys (1466/1530)
“Deposition” by an artist of the school of Paolo Caliari aka Veronese (1528/88)
“Portrait of Agatha van Schoonven” by Jan Van Scorel (1495/1562)
“It is among the most known works of the great Dutch artist, among the first to 'become Roman' with a trip to Italy. Protected by Pope Adrian VI (1522/23), he obtained a canonry in Utrecht, where he lived with his young girlfriend portrayed here. It is a rare example of affective portrait of an artist's woman. (...) For this and for the excellent quality of execution, the work has been widely featured in the literature. It was stolen by a thief dressed as a friar, who replaced it with a copy, only to be found soon after” (Official Website of the Galleria Doria Pamphilj -
“St. Jerome in Penitence” by Domenico Beccafumi (1486/1551)

Friday, March 17, 2017


Room of the 1600s
“Still life with oysters, flowers, fruits and animals” and “Still life with flowers, fruits and animals” by Jan van Kessel the Elder (1626/79)
“Sleeping Endymion” by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666)
“Daedalus and Icarus” maybe by Andrea Sacchi (1599/1661)
“Penitent Magdalene” 1594/95 by Michelangelo Merisi aka Caravaggio (1571/1610)
“It didn't even look like a religious painting: simply the study of a common modern girl sitting on a low wooden chair intent on drying her hair. Where was the meaning? Where the prostitute repentance, her suffering, the promise of salvation? That single barely visible tear that ran down her nose seemed insufficient. (...) The broken string of pearls and other ornaments looked like having been ripped, not forsaken by herself, and more than the regret and renunciation of the holy prostitute, they reminded the punishment given to courtesans in Rome, the lashes that a girl was threatened to get from the police” (Peter Robb)
“Rest on the Flight into Egypt” about 1596/98 another great masterpiece by Caravaggio
The music of the lullaby that the angel holds in his hands is Quam pulchra es with words from the Song of Songs and music of the Flemish Bauldewyn, symbolizing the mystical marriage between Christ and the Virgin, and therefore between Christ and the Church
“In this work, the feeling of the divine and the feeling of reality live together in perfect harmony. Structure, still that of the juvenile phase, has the space developed in parallel levels within which the shapes are clearly outlined almost flat. Light here is not creator of forms, but as an element to give extreme clarity to the scene: it is falling on the Angel and it enhances the whiteness of the veil and it is spread instead on the faces of the characters. This canvas can be considered one of the first statements anti-mannerist style against the religious bombast of Roman painting official” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Seven Mother and Child by Caravaggio remain, and, for how the face, the body, the movements of the newborn, and the way in which the mother is holding him, were seen by the painter, none of the other hundreds of thousands of images of this kind produced in Italian painting would have ever surpassed them” (Peter Robb)
“Sibyl” by Massimo Stanzione (1585/1656)
“St. Sebastian” by Ludovico Carracci (1555/1619)
“Portrait of a Franciscan friar” maybe by Pieter Paul Rubens (1577/1640)
“Marina rock arch” by Salvator Rosa (1615/73)
Room of the 1500s
“Salome with the Head of John the Baptist” by Tiziano Vecellio (Titian) (about 1490/1576)
“The field where the penetration and psychological confidence of Raphael are more happily combined with his sense of subtle values, subdued ranges, is the portrait. (...) In these portraits of writers Raphael seems to have expressed himself representing more an ideal than a character: the vocation of poetry and love. The authority of the artist has so created a sort of portrait-type” (André Chastel)
“Portrait of a couple” by Sofonisba Anguissola (about 1531/1626)
“Portrait of a Young Gentleman” by Jacopo Robusti aka Tintoretto (1518/94)
“Return of the Prodigal Son” by Francesco da Ponte aka Bassano the Younger (1549/92) and Jacopo da Ponte aka Jacopo Bassano (about 1510/92)
“Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli” by Cristofano dell'Altissimo (?/1605)
“Portrait of Girolamo Beltramoto” circle of Giovanni Luteri aka Dosso Dossi (about 1486/1542)
Room of the 1400s
“Pietà (Mercy)” and “Massacre of the Innocents with Rest on the Flight into Egypt” by Ludovico Mazzoli aka Ludovico Mazzolino (about 1479/about 1529)
“Madonna and Child” by an artist of the school of Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano (about 1435-40/1508)
“Holy Family” and “Visitation” by Benvenuto Tisi aka Garofalo (about 1481/1559)
“Nativity with Sts. Francis, John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene” by Giovanni Battista Benvenuti aka Ortolano (1487/after 1524)
“Sts. Anthony Abbot and James the Apostle” and “Sts. Christopher and John the Baptist” by Bicci di Lorenzo (1373/1452)
Two “Stories of St. Anthony Abbot” and “Temptation of St. Anthony” by Bernardo Parentino (1434 or 1437/1531)
“The triptych is dated in the mature phase of the master, in the ninth decade of the fifteenth century, when he was at the court of Mantua. The panels, perfectly preserved, have a strong relationship with Andrea Mantegna and the relief with putti reminds of a sarcophagus painted by an artist in the circle of Squarcione. Moreover Bernardo himself executed drawings inspired from ancient artworks very similar to the works of Mantegna and of the circle of Squarcione, while some torment in the contours also recalls the works of Cosmè Tura and Ercole de' Roberti from Ferrara” (Official Website of the Galleria Doria Pamphilj -
“Two old men in prayer (the hypocrites)” by the Belgian Quinten Massys (1466/1530)
“Marriage” and “Birth of the Virgin Mary” by Giovanni di Paolo (about 1400/82)