Loggia of Galatea, restoration of decorative parts of Raphael's masterpiece kicks off

Restoration of the decorative parts of the Loggia of Galatea at Villa Farnesina has begun. It will last until next fall.

The restoration of the Loggia di Galatea is getting underway, which will affect the decorative parts, fitting into the complex conservation program coordinated by the Villa Farnesina’s Lyncean Commission of the Loggia’s 16th-, 17th- and 19th-century decorations. This is named after the nymph painted by Raphael, but inside are works by Sebastiano del Piombo, such as the Polyphemus and mythological scenes in the lunettes, and by Baldassarre Peruzzi, who depicted Agostino Chigi’s horoscope in the vault.

The worksite is financed by MiBACT with the allocation of 300 thousand euros through the Investment Fund of the Central State Administrations for the Development of the Country and will be conducted in accordance with the rigorous methodology applied by theCentral Institute for Restoration to discover new elements aimed at reconstructing the historical events of the Villa and to arrive at a more detailed knowledge of the decorative interventions.

The work is scheduled to be completed this fall and is entrusted to two teams of restorers: supervised by the Villa Farnesina Commission and Virginia Lapenta (Conservator of Villa Farnesina), the restoration is being coordinated by ICR architect Giorgio Sobrà, and is part of the teaching of the ICR’s School of Higher Education and Study, making use of the teaching of restorers Barbara Provinciali, Carla Giovannone and Maria Carolina Gaetani dell’Aquila d’Aragona with the assistance of Simona Nobili.

Alessandro Zuccari, a member of theAccademia Nazionale dei Lincei (which has a representative office at Villa Farnesina), said it will be "a critical restoration. It will try to recover as much as possible of the Chigi era, especially the colors, but without ignoring the superimpositions that have arrived over time. And who knows what surprises it may give us back.“ ”The intervention in the Loggia di Galatea aims to consolidate and secure all the most delicate decorative apparatuses,“ he added, ”to restore as much as possible the original look that Agostino Chigi wanted to give to this place of delights, leisure and culture, thanks to the involvement of these great artists. Let us remember that here Agostino Chigi had gathered a true cenacle of humanists. The restoration will allow a better legibility of the decorative apparatus, with a recovery of the original colors of the decorative scores."

ICR director Luigi Ficacci concluded, “the Villa is still today ’a model of synthesis of the arts, which for the first time puts nature inside architecture, creates harmony with the landscape and pictorial decorations. It is the symbol of the new exemplary Rome of Pope Julius II and Leo X.”

Loggia of Galatea, restoration of decorative parts of Raphael's masterpiece kicks off
Loggia of Galatea, restoration of decorative parts of Raphael's masterpiece kicks off

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