Friday, 17 December 2010

Palazzo Farnese Exhibition

Palazzo Farnese - From the Renaissance to the French Embassy
Palazzo Farnese, Rome
17th December 2010 to 27th April 2011

A collection of 150 works (drawings, sculptures, paintings, art objects) which brings to life the history of the Palace through five centuries.

The Farnese Palace, splendour of the Farnese family in the sixteenth century, and for the last 135 years the home of the French Embassy in Rome and of the Ecole Française de Rome. An important selection of works from the Farnese collection returns to the place where it was assembled thanks to the passion for art of the Farnese family.

Palazzo Farnese, Rome
The exhibition Palazzo Farnese - From the Renaissance to the French Embassy was conceived by Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, French Ambassador to Italy. It is produced in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Culture. The curators are Francesco Buranelli, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Cultural Heritage of the Church, and Roberto Cecchi, Secretary-General of the Italian Ministry of Culture.

For this exhibition, the Palace will be open by reservation only, and will welcome the return of the Museum Farnesianum; the Hall of the Emperors and the Hall of the Philosophers will be recreated and, for the occasion, the famous Dacian prisoners will resume their place alongside the porphyry statue of Apollo, known at the time as Roma Triumphans.

The French Ambassador to Italy, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, shows some of the treasures of the Palazzo Farnese (in French):

Farnese Hercules
Roman copy of a lost original by Lysippus
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples
 Thanks to new technology, the courtyard will be virtually occupied by the imposing silhouettes of the Farnese Atlas, the Farnese Hercules and the Farnese Bull. Generous loans from the magnificent collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Naples have enabled the return of these works.

Among the most notable furniture, the worktable from the Museum of Ecouen, designed to hold the Farnese's collection of coins and cameos. Tapestries from the Quirinal, lent by the President of the Italian Republic, and from Chambord Castle, as well as Renaissance ceramics, retake their place in the salons of the main floor.

The portrait of Pope Paul III by Titian, Christ and the Canaanite woman painted by Annibale Carracci for the private chapel of Cardinal Odoardo, works by Sebastiano del Piombo, Carracci and El Greco testify to the rich collection of paintings newly exhibited in the northeast gallery. The collection of preparatory drawings by Annibale Carracci (from, inter alia, the Louvre) and frescoes from the Palazzo Fava in Bologna illustrate the design of the famous fresco cycle The loves of the Gods by Carracci. Most of the paintings mentioned are from the Capodimonte Museum of Naples, and from museums in Parma and Bologna.

Annibale Carracci, The Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne (1595)
Palazzo Farnese, Rome
The exhibition aims to revive the intertwined stories of Popes, cardinals, kings, ambassadors and artists who, for five centuries, met and lived in the Farnese Palace, contributing to making it an exceptional and vibrant place.

The Palazzo Farnese was commissioned by Alessandro Farnese (1468-1549), who in 1534 became Pope Paul III. Begun in 1514 by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, the construction of the Palace continued under the direction of Michelangelo (1546-1549), then Vignola and Giacomo della Porta, who completed it in 1589.

Domenichino, Virgin and a Unicorn (1602)
Palazzo Farnese, Rome
The Cardinals Ranuccio, Eduardo and Alessandro Farnese, Paul III's descendants, entrusted to the greatest artists of the time the painted decoration of the ceremonial rooms: Towards 1560, the grand salon of the Fasti; around 1600, the Camerino, then the Carracci gallery. The remarkable Farnese collection of sculptures, paintings, art objects and books continued to expand.

Towards the middle of the seventeenth century, the interests of the Farnese family moved from Rome to Parma, then the family died out and its possessions passed in the first half of the eighteenth century to the Bourbons of Naples, to where the complete Farnese collection was transferred.

Report on the exhibition by Inside Art Italia (in Italian):

Tiziano Vecellio (Titian), Pope Paul III (1545)
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples
Ambassadors of France resided in the Farnese Palace from the sixteenth century through the seventeenth and eighteenth, but only in 1874 was the Embassy established there permanently, followed in 1875 by the Ecole Française de Rome. Purchased by the French state then sold back to Italy, the Palace has been governed since 1936 by a 99-year lease covering the two embassies, Italian and French, in Paris and in Rome.

Official exhibition page (in Italian and French only)
Palazzo Farnese Wikipedia page

Farnese Atlas
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples
Palazzo Farnese, Rome
Sebastiano del Piombo, Portrait of Pope Clement VII
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples
Jean Ranc, Portrait of Elisabeta Farnese
Museo del Prado, Madrid
Pierre Adrien Paris, A view of the entrance to the Great Hall, Palazzo Farnese
Bibliothèque Municipale, Besançon
Seated Apollo (Roma Triumphans)
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples
Squatting Venus with Cupid
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples
Venus Callipygia
Museo Archeolgico Nazionale, Naples

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