Tuesday, August 15, 2017


1644/50 Girolamo Rainaldi (1570/1655) for Innocent X Pamphilj (1644/55) over pre-existing buildings 
Later it became the home of Innocent X's sister-in-law, Olimpia Maidalchini, very influential on the pope. She was a woman extremely resourceful and iron-willed and many believed she was the mistress of the pope
“The role of Olimpia Maidalchini in these building operations (...) is not yet completely clear. Certainly, both the pope and Olimpia Maidalchini delegated the supervision of many of the most important operations to the Oratorian Father Virgilio Spada, a man of considerable artistic culture. There is, however, evidence that, in some cases, Olimpia intervened directly in the design of the works, as in the case of the great hall of the palace in Piazza Navona, for which the painter Andrea Camassei, an artist protected by her, executed a series of frescoes directly inspired by the client” (Stefano Tabacchi - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani)
Since 1960 it is owned by the Brazilian State with the Embassy of Brazil and the Italo-Brazilian Cultural Center
Around three courtyards there are TWENTY-THREE ROOMS including many richly frescoed by great masters of the seventeenth century:
ROOMS OF JOSEPH JEW, MOSES AND ROMAN HISTORY Giacinto Gimignani (1606/81) and students
MARINE ROOM Agostino Tassi (1578/1644)
ROOM OF BACCHUS Andrea Camassei (1602/49)
HALL OF THE COUNTRYSIDE Gaspard Dughet (1615/75)
HALL OF OVID Giacinto Brandi (1621/91)
Architecture of Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) who had joined Girolamo Rainaldi in the years 1645/50
“In the two heads of the gallery above the serliane decorations he used again the dolphin-shaped motive of the canopy of St. Peter’s Basilica. Twenty years later still it bothered him having given Bernini this sign so personal and so full of meanings, organic symbol of vitality transmigrated in the material, usually inert, of architecture” (Paolo Portoghesi)
Frescoes “Stories of Aeneas: life and apotheosis”, in the short sides “Aeneas and Pallas” and “Aeneas into hell” 1651/54 Pietro Berrettini aka Pietro da Cortona (1597/1669)
It was a tangible sign of friendship between the two great masters and Pietro da Cortona was a congenial interpreter of the “human scale” Borromini's gallery with perfect compatibility
“Here Cortona drew a rich monochrome system, creating a wavelike structure for the main scenes. Works of infinite charm, here the problem of changing points of view has been resolved with incomparable mastery. His palette has become more transparent and bright that in the last ceilings of Palazzo Pitti, revealing the study of antiquity, Raphael and Veronese. Delicate blues prevail, as well as pale pinks, purple and yellow prelude to the tonal values used by Luca Giordano and during all the eighteenth century” (Rudolf Wittkower)

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