ALBANI, Francesco
(b. 1578, Bologna, d. 1660, Bologna)

Ceiling vault of piano nobile loggia

Palazzo Verospi, Rome

The picture shows the painting on the ceiling vault of the piano nobile loggia in the Palazzo Verospi, painted by Francesco Albani. The depictions are: Phoebus-Apollo and Personifications of the Seasons in the centre panel; Genii of Morning and Evening Twilight in the ovals; The Planetary Gods; Genii of Morning and Night with their Children Sleep and Death in the spandrels.

Since antiquity, colonnades and porticoes with painted decoration have been distinguishing features of the palaces of ruling houses. In the seventeenth century the main focus in the painting of a loggia, an indispensable feature of the piano nobile in palaces and villas in Rome and elsewhere, was the vault. The original pattern for the Roman loggia was the loggia of the Villa Farnesina, painted by Raphael with free-floating figures in the spandrels and caps of the vault. The piano nobile loggia in the Palazzo Verospi, painted by Albani follows this pattern, but borrowings from the ceiling of the Galleria Farnese, from Reni's Aurora and Guercino's Aurora are also present.