Thursday, August 6, 2020



Via Salaria 92

1747/67 Carlo Marchionni (1702/86) for Cardinal Alessandro Albani patron grandson of Clement XI Albani (1700/21) in order to keep and display his collection of ancient sculptures

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717/78), the mastermind of Neo-Classical style, was the librarian of the cardinal and was also in charge of cataloging the pieces of antiquities of his patron’s collection

“Through his writings (Geschichte der Kunst des Altertums, 1764) Winckelmann promoted the aesthetics of Neoclassicism, exerting enormous influence on art and taste of his time, and formulating a new methodological approach that is the basis of the modern history of art” (Enciclopedia Treccani)

In 1817 it passed to the Castelbarco family

In 1866 it was bought by Alessandro Torlonia who modified it in part, and increased greatly the collection of works of art

On the 20th of September 1870 the capitulation of Rome from the Papal army to the Italian army commanded by General Raffaele Cadorna was signed here

“The shape and distribution of the constituent nuclei of the villa are designed in strict adherence to the display function. The richness and variety of solutions - as in the gallery with the new combination of a ornamentation still in rococo style and ancient fragments or as in the garden with the striking interpenetration of picturesque ruins, ancient statues and natural elements - make Villa Albani a totally unique product, the result of the refined sensibility and culture of the client” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

Main Building

It is known in Italian as Casino


It takes its name from the fresco on the ceiling representating the “Parnassus” 1756 by Anton Raphael Mengs (1728/79)

“It became the new sacred text of Classicism: the painter abandons the baroque illusionistic perspective and returns to the Raphael inspired idea of panels within a painted architectonical structure. The composition is conceived as a relief and it doesn’t enhance the potential for sensitive seduction of the colors, as much as the purity of the line that defines the forms. The central character recalls the statue of the Belvedere Apollo and the two dancing figures on the left are inspired by prototypes in Herculaneum, but idealized along the lines of a classical style also inspired by Raphael” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

APARTMENT OF LEDA reproducing an ancient thermal bath


Opposite the Casino there is the CAFFEEHAUS

Among the outstanding antiquities:

“Relief of Antinous” from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

“Relief of knight who defeats an enemy” original from Attica in parthenonic style

“Torlonia young girl” mid first century BC

“Sarcophagus with the wedding of Peleus and Thetis” of the Hadrian’s period (117/138)

“Hestia Giustiniani” of the Hadrian’s period from the original of 460 BC

“Albani Athlete” by Stefano a pupil of Pasiteles

“Frescoes from the François tomb in Vulci” end of the fourth century BC with mythological scenes of Greek and Etruscan-Roman stories

It would be great if the long dispute between the Torlonia family and the Italian state could be resolved so that one of the most important collections of ancient sculpture in the world woud be finally be made visible to mankind

Among the paintings:

“Madonna and Saints” 1475 by Niccolò di Liberatore aka l’Alunno (about 1430/1502)

“Altarpiece” 1419 by Pietro Vannucci aka Pietro Perugino (about 1450/1523)

“Pieta” 1509 by Francesco Zaganelli (about 1460-70/1532)

Also amazing works by:

Giovanni Paolo Pannini (1691/1765), Gerrit Van Honthorst aka Gherardo Delle Notti (1590/1656), Pompeo Batoni (1708/87), Antoon Van Dyck (1599/1641), Jacopo Robusti aka Tintoretto (1518/94), Taddeo Zuccari (1529/66), Jusepe de Ribera aka lo Spagnoletto (1591/1652), Jacopino del Conte (about 1515/98), Carlo Maratta (1625/1713), Giovanni Francesco Barbieri aka Guercino (1591/1666), Giulio Pippi aka Giulio Romano (1499/1546), Jacques Courtois aa il Borgognone (1628/79), Luca Giordano (1634/1705), Philipp Peter Roos aka Rosa da Tivoli (1651/1705), Jacques-Louis David (1748/1825) and Gaspar van Wittel (1653/1736)

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