Villa Madama

Front Cover
Caterina Napoleone
Antique Collectors Club Limited, 2007 - Architecture - 174 pages
Commissioned by Leo X, the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and continued under his cousin Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, the future Clement VII, the "Pope's vineyard", which was later known as Villa Madama, was designed by Raphael on the slopes of Monte Mario. In terms of grandeur, it was to emulate the palaces of the Caesars and its opulence and magnificence was to outshine the Medici villas in Fiesole and Poggio a Caiano. The untimely death of Raphael (1520) obliged his closest assistants, Giulio Romano, Giovanni da Udine and Antonio Sangallo the Younger, to reduce its scale and modify the monumental undertaking, which was only partly completed.
Now the main venue for official functions of the President of the Cabinet Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, even after all the additions, rearrangements and restoration works carried out by Piacentini in the early twentieth century, Villa Madama is still one of the greatest masterpieces of Renaissance architecture and decoration. With its vast loggia, decorated "in the ancient style", which gives onto the huge gardens, it remains an unsurpassed emblem of the learned patronage and splendour of the Papal court in the early Cinquecento.
This book examines its complex historical and artistic life, with essays accompanied by a wealth of previously unpublished illustrations which convey the vibrant atmosphere of a place that only the genius of Raphael could have inspired.

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The Realm of Giants
The Renascence of the Former Splendour of Villa Madama

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About the author (2007)

Massimo Listri's photographs have appeared in many books, including Casa Mundi, Casa Mediterranea, Villas of Tuscany and New Asian Interiors.

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