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)

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