BALESTRA, Antonio
(b. 1666, Verona, d. 1740, Verona)

View of the main hall

1738
Fresco
Villa Pompei Carlotti, Illasi

The Villa Pompei Carlotti in Illasi (Verona) was rebuilt between 1731 and 1737 according to the design of the owner, Alessandro Pompei, a patrician from Verona and a remarkable intellectual, architect, and virtuoso painter. In 1738, after the reconstruction was completed, the brothers Alberto and Alessandro Pompei asked Antonio Balestra, a renowned Veronese painter and Alessandro's former teacher, to create frescoes for the vast main hall. The other spaces in the villa were decorated by Balestra's disciples.

The main hall, a luminous, double-height space that occupies the central portion of the building, is completely covered in faux architectural decoration. The lower portion of the wall surface is measured off by pairs of fluted columns of a composite order, which rest on a tall marmorino skirting board that circles the entire perimeter. The space between each pair of columns contains a depiction of a god, painted to imitate a marble statue. There are twelve in all. On the short walls, faux frames contain The Killing of Achilles and The Abduction of Helen. Above the doors, four ovals enclose monochrome mythological scenes. On the upper portion of the wall, twelve figures of cupids appear between pairs of pilasters.

The vault of the ceiling is covered by The Triumph of Love, illusionistically supported by large, bulging corbels, set within an elaborate trompe l'oeil layout.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.