VASARI, Giorgio
(b. 1511, Arezzo, d. 1574, Firenze)

Paul III Farnese Names Cardinals and Distributes Benefices

Palazzo della Cancellaria, Rome

Giorgio Vasari's stage-like decoration in the Sala dei Cento Giorni of the Palazzo della Cancellaria open up the walls of the room to a great extent.

Artists were clearly aware that stage-like depictions of events in the same space as the viewer would produce a strong sense of presence. For that reason, they used this form primarily for themes that depicted either timeless or contemporary events, like the evocation of Paul III's deeds in the Cancellaria, or the sociable pleasures of aristocratic society of a villa owner. By introducing a high pedestal, Vasari used the "theatrical principle," which establishes a comnnection to the viewer and also creates distance.