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

Perspective view of the Sala delle Prospettive

Villa Farnesina, Rome

When visitors step through the Loggia di Psiche into the villa, then up the stairs into the next story, they arrive in a large banquet hall, the Sala delle Prospettive. Chigi probably had Peruzzi paint it in anticipation of his wedding, which he celebrated here in August 1519 with the pope and cardinals. Like a stage designer, Peruzzi transformed all the walls into an illusion of precious, polychrome marble architecture. The hall seems to be open up to the sides through colonnades onto terraces that present distant views on the skyline of the city of Rome. Viewers feel transported to an ancient palace hall, elevated from present-day Rome to a higher, mythical world. The Olympian gods are depicted above the doors and windows. The painted architecture supports a frieze with a series of scenes from ancient myths.