PERUZZI, Baldassare
(b. 1481, Ancaiano, d. 1536, Roma)

Ceiling decoration (Volta Dorata)

c. 1519
Palazzo della Cancellaria, Rome

Some of the Roman paintings found in the Domus Aurea and elsewhere correspond quite precisely what Vasari and others determined to be the typical features of grotesques. These paintings inspired several ceiling designs 'all'antica', such as the ceiling decoration with Old Testament scenes (Volta Dorata) in the Palazzo della Cancellaria designed by Baldassare Peruzzi and executed by his workshop. The desire to revive not only the forms of ancient Roman architecture but also their decoration may help to explain the success of these paintings. In particular, Raphael and the specialists in his workshop, who mastered the genre completely, helped the grotesque style to spread quickly in Rome.