Thursday, July 13, 2017


Beginning of 1600s Bartolomeo Breccioli (?/1639)
Interior decorations for the Marquis Fabrizio Nari including the spectacular vault in the corner LIVING ROOM OF THE SECOND FLOOR:
In the center “Triumph of truth over deception”
Around four biblical episodes with “Esther's Stories” 1673/75 all painted by the excellent painter and architect from Rieti Antonio Gherardi (1638/1702)
“The pictorial quality is uncertain and the paintings were considered by the critics, until the discovery of documents, dating to the period previous to the ceiling of S. Maria in Trivio. Such apparent stylistic weakness is likely to be due to the modification of the initial project, which provided a breakdown of the vault similar to that of S. Maria in Trivio, due to a sudden restoration of the ceiling desired by the client. From the point of view of style Gherardi refers explicitly to the canvas with stories of Esther painted by Paolo Caliari, called Veronese, in church of St. Sebastian of the Gerolamini in Venice” (Ivana Corsetti - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


1660/78 Mattia De Rossi (1637/95) for the Muti Papazzurri family that was not related with the Muti family, having taken their name for an ancient member of the family that was dumb (in Italian muto)
It was originally connected to the other Palazzo Papazzurri Muti (later Palazzo Balestra) with an arch that was destroyed but gave the name anyway to Via dell'Archetto (street of the arch)
An arch built in 1948 connects the palace to the former Franciscan convent
It is now owned by the Bruschi family
Frescoes and tempera on mythological subjects and landscapes second half of 1600s by Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi (1606/80) from Bologna and Giacinto Calandrucci (1646/1707) from Palermo, a student of Carlo Maratta
BIBLIOTECA DEL PONTIFICIO ISTITUTO BIBLICO (Library of the Pontifical Biblical Institute)
There are about 135,000 volumes about the Sacred Scripture and the Ancient Near East


Begun at the end of 1500s by Giacomo Della Porta (1533/1602)
Completed in the years 1642/62 by Giovanni Antonio De Rossi (1616/95)
At the beginning of the nineteenth century Cecilia Muti married Giulio Bussi originally from Orvieto and the names of the families were united until the end of the line in 1972

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Beginning of 1500s for Giovanni Antonio Milesi an academic from Bergamo
Painted with very damaged mythological and historical scenes: “The Story of Niobe”, “Cato the Younger”, “Rape of the Sabine Women” and “Laws of Numa Pompilius” by Polidoro Caldara aka Polidoro da Caravaggio (about 1495/1543) and Maturino da Firenze (?/1528)
It is the only palace with Palazzo Ricci where there are remains of the many frescoes that used to adorn the façades of many buildings of Rome at the beginning of the sixteenth century
“His preference for reliefs let us make a comparison with Perin del Vaga: (...) Polidoro's figures emerge from the darkness of the background in an even more assertive way, with even more illusionism. The figures themselves are more dynamic, more compressed; compositions are more concentrated, simpler and closer to the ideal of the ancient reliefs than Perino's. The numerous secondary elements show knowledge of antiquity more precise than the ones the whimsical Florentine artist had” (Hermann Voss)
In 1576 Cherubino Alberti (1553/1615) painted in the center of the façade a golden mask (maschera d'oro) that gave the name to the street
In 1615 it was bought by the Baccani family
On the façade of the adjacent PALACE ON VIA DELLA MASCHERA D'ORO No.9 monochrome etchings on the plaster by Jacopo Ripanda (about 1465/1516)
Inserted in the corner there is a big ANCIENT SPIRAL COLUMN
Columns of this kind were often inserted in the corners of the buildings for decorative and for static functions, and also to serve as a “bumper” for the wagons that used to pass near buildings in the narrow streets of Rome
Both buildings now belong to the Lancellotti family who have their own main building a few meters away

Friday, July 7, 2017


Second half of 1500s by the architect Moschetti, his only work in Rome
FAÇADE completed in 1887 by Andrea Busiri Vici (1818/1911)
It is owned by the PROPAGANDA FIDE INSTITUTE (owned by the Vatican) and is leased to the fashion designer Valentino


The original building dates back to the fifteenth century
It belonged to Cardinal Michiel, nephew of Pope Paul II Barbo (1464/71). The cardinal is buried in the nearby church of S. Marcello and was poisoned in 1503 by Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI Borgia (1492/1503)
In 1532 the building was sold to the Salviati family and at the beginning of 1600 to the Cesi family. It is therefore also known as MICHIEL SALVIATI CESI MELLINI PALACE
Restructured in 1700 by Tommaso De Marchis (1693/1759) who was also the architect of the renovation and the façade of the church of S. Alessio
Restored 1913/19 by Cesare Bazzani (1873/1939) who also made the façade on the Piazza di S. Marcello al Corso
It is owned by the BANCA DI ROMA and there is a project to convert it into a luxury hotel

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


End of 1800s by Gaetano Koch (1849/1910) for Senator Mengarini
Since 1915, it was property of Senator Luigi Albertini, editor of the newspaper Corriere della Sera, one of the main lobbyists for the Italian intervention in World War I, and since 1941, after his death, of his daughter Elena, married to Count Nicolò Carandini
After World War II the building then took the name of PALAZZO CARANDINI
The prestigious place in which it stands and the incomparable view are such that in the fifties the Agnelli family (founders and directors of FIAT cars) decide to use the building as their residence in Rome
Modern myth has it that two floors of the building were won during a card game between the lawyer Gianni Agnelli and Count Nicolò Carandini
Another rumor still more insistent wants that the building has been favored by the Agnelli because its height exceeds that of the Torrino del Quirinale, as if to symbolize the role played by the Agnelli family as substitute of the House of Savoy after the war

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


1541 maybe Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68) for Ludovico Mattei conte di Paganica
Partly built over the auditorium of the THEATER OF BALBUS
In 1640 Bartolomeo Breccioli (?/1639) expanded the building for the Mattei family towards Via delle Botteghe Oscure, on land purchased in 1548, demolishing old houses owned by them
Since 1928, it is the headquarters of the INSTITUTE OF THE ITALIAN ENCYCLOPEDIA with a library of 85,000 volumes mainly of encyclopedic works