Villa Farnesina dedicates events to Raphael

Villa's frescoes were painted by the Renaissance genius

03 March, 18:31

    ROME - To mark the 500th anniversary of Raphael's death, along with the great show that opens on March 5 at Rome's Scuderie del Quirinale, the superb Villa Farnesina in the Italian capital will dedicate two events to the occasion.

    The majority of the villa's frescoes were painted by the Renaissance genius from Urbino.

    A show on April 6-July 31 will provide the occasion to discover a few secrets of the Roman residence of Agostino Chigi, the banker of popes, a rich and powerful man who dominated the scene.

    Chigi, a collector who befriended many artists, was together with popes Julius II and Innocent X an important patron for Raphael who commissioned many works of art. He was also a friend and Raphael often visited. He was asked to paint the frescoes and plan the stables - a building that was torn down in 1808 after being abandoned for decades - and its rich collection was a source of inspiration for the artist.

    The two friends died within five days of each other, on April 6, 1520 the great painter and on April 11 the brilliant banker.

    When he died, Chigi was 54 and at the height of his power. When he married Francesca Ordeaschi a few months before his death, in August 1519, he commissioned new frescoes at the villa.

    Architect Baldassarre Peruzzi, who was also in charge of decorating the villa, was aided by Raphael to whom Chigi asked to decorate the Loggia. Giovanni Antonio Bazzi decorated the bedroom on the first floor while another great talent, Venice's Sebastiano dal Piombo, a pupil of Giorgione, worked beside Raphael in the room made famous by the 'Trionfo di Galatea'.

    Following Ordeaschi's death, seven months after her husband's, the villa in 1579 was bought by the Farnese family.

    The cultural academy Accademia dei Lincei has been based at the villa since 1944.

    After recent restoration work, the exhibit opening on April 6 will enable visitors to discover designs unconvered in the 1970s which have never been shown to the public before. A new interactive system will enable viewers to observe details of the painting in the Loggia which are too distant - eight meters away - to observe to the naked eye.

    From October 1, 2020, until January 10, 2021, a second show curated by Alessandro Zuccari and Costanza Barbieri will focus on Agostino Chigi's collection of statues, sarcophagi, cameos and ancient coins on display at the villa: treasures that influenced Raphael and are now being loaned for the occasion by museums including the Vatican Museums, the Uffizi, the Kunsthistorisches in Vienna and the archaeological museum in Naples.(ANSAmed).

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