i’m so annoyed with my camera.
can someone please sponsor me a new camera? my current canon g10′s lens is scratched and introduces horrid light imperfections for certain shots. its really sad when you have that good shot but it is marred by splotches. -_-
anyways, that shot is the external view of villa farnesina, a renaissance surburban villa near trastevere that was built for Agostino Chigi, with parts decorated by Raphael. this attraction counts as one of the more low-key attractions but is actually one really cool, resplendently decorated villa that does transport you back to the renaissance era and sheds light on how the rich and famous in Rome lived.
the loggia of galatea, with Raphael’s galatea to the left
and extravagantly they did so.
my art history classes taught me that this was the era where the discovery of the ancient Domus Aurea (still closed currently due to drainage issues – sigh) brought about the trend of neo-classicism, with renaissance painters and sculptors all drawing inspirations from sculptures and architecture of Greco-Roman antiquity. and the rich and famous lapped it up like crazy — to have an ancient-Roman inspired villa was the “it thing” to have at that period, which explains the decoration within Villa Farnesina.
the loggia of cupid and psyche
beautiful frecoes depicting ancient Roman mythical Gods and creatures decorate entire walls and ceilings of the rooms, complete with tricky trompe-l’oeil architectural paintings. the effect is something really spectacular and makes you marvel at the artistry and attention to detail. in particular, the loggia of cupid and psyche literally extends the garden (seen from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows at one side of the room) right into the room with the frescoed vegetations on the ceiling. it’s a beautiful, startling effect. one can really imagine how awesome it would have been to have brunch in this loggia facing the garden and fountains. (ok my next restaurant shall be called the farnesina.. haha)
the entire length of the ceiling in the loggia of cupid and psyche
the loggia of galatea
the room of the marriage of alexander the great and roxana
this room, originally Agostino Chigi’s bedchamber, made me chuckle a bit. i mean, consider that the contents of the fresco is pretty much impish, playful puttis essentially nudging, pushing and stripping poor roxana toward our dear alex.
bedchamber, if i can remind you. it’s real cool how you can get a glimpse of the past, and realise that whatever the era, guys will still be guys.
Villa Farnesina is open Mon/Sat 9:00 – 5:00pm and Tue – Fri 10:00 – 2:00pm. this is the most updated information i have (end May 2012) and Frommer’s information is actually wrong (annoying because i was forced to wake up early on saturday cos i thought it closed at 1:00pm). It costs you 5euros (4 if you are a student) for a tour of the few rooms. Nice place, not as impressive as say, Villa Borghese or Sistine Chapel, but intimate, beautiful and weaves a beautiful story of the past.