Thursday, December 14, 2017


The first great work of civic Renaissance architecture in Rome, begun in the years 1455/64 for Cardinal Pietro Barbo
Expanded over the years 1465/68 after the election of Cardinal Pietro Barbo as Pope Paul II Barbo (1464/71)
1468/71 WING ALONG VIA DEL PLEBISCITO and COURTYARD which remained incomplete. Later on Cardinal Marco Barbo and Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo, nephew of Innocent VIII Cybo (1484/92), completed it
Intervention of Pope Paul III Farnese (1534/49) who connected it to his tower on Capitol Hill
It was used as a summer residence of the popes, before the construction of Palazzo del Quirinale, until 1564, when Pius IV Medici (1559/64) sold it partly to Venice to be the residence of their Ambassadors
It later became wholly owned by the Republic of Venice
In 1797 it passed to France and in 1814 to Austria
In 1916 it was confiscated by the Italian government and, after a restoration in the years 1924/30, it became a museum
Between 1929 and 1943 the reception rooms housed the office of Benito Mussolini and the Fascist Grand Council here on June 25, 1943 voted against Mussolini and took his political power away from him
The architect of the palace is unknown, but it is the first example in Rome from the model of a Renaissance Tuscan building according to the principles of Leon Battista Alberti
In the VAULT OF THE VESTIBULE there is the first example ever of modern use of cast concrete, a construction technique that had not been used since the ancient times: a crucial step for the development of technical architecture, fruit and expression of Western civilization
Among the artists who worked here for sure, using also travertine taken from the Colosseum: Giacomo da Pietrasanta (active since 1452/d. about 1497), Francesco da Borgo S. Sepolcro and Meo del Caprino
1714 for the Venetian ambassador Niccolò Duodo
1600, rebuilt in 1911
Altar 1682 by G.B. Contini (1641/1723)
“Madonna and Child” by Bernardino Gagliardi (1609/1660)
On the right “Flight into Egypt” by Francesco Cozza (1605/82)
Fountain “Marriage of Venice to the Sea” 1729 by Carlo Monaldi (about 1690/1760), restored in 1930 by Giovanni Prini (1877/1958)
1467/68 maybe by Baccio Pontelli (about 1450/92)
1930 by Luigi Marangoni (1872/1950)
Royal Hall, Hall of Battles (originally Consistory), Hall of the Globe and Apartment Barbo subdivided and altered over the eighteenth and nineteenth century, restored in the years 1924/30
These rooms are currently used for temporary exhibitions
The painted decoration was widely integrated
In the Hall of the Globe, with the famous balcony from which Mussolini used to address the Italians, the painted architecture is attributed to Andrea Mantegna

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