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

No comments:

Post a Comment