DUGHET, Gaspard
(b. 1615, Roma, d. 1675, Roma)

Hall in the Appartamento Estivo

Palazzo Colonna, Rome

The powerful Colonna family had lived on the western slope of the Quirinale in Rome since the Middle Ages. Over the years it managed to link together the various houses it had built and purchased over time into a unified ensemble of palaces, courtyards, and gardens. In the seventeenth century, the art-loving cardinal Girolamo I Colonna (1604-1666) began turning the complex into a Baroque residence. Construction began in 1650. The south wing, containing the Grande Galleria, was built between 1661 and 1700 at the behest of the cardinal's nephew Lorenzo Onofrio (1637-1689).

The modernization of the interiors was begun in the Appartamento Estivo on the ground floor of the palace. The picture shows one of the halls where the walls are decorated with wall-high simulated openings presenting views of either Arcadian, idyllic countryside or stormy and peaceful seascapes. The painted architecture is the work of Giovanni Battista Magno, while the fourteen landscapes are by Gaspard Dughet.

Employing the light colours typical of tempera painting, Dughet, who here followed directly in the footsteps of Paul Bril and Agostino Tassi, managed to give his landscapes, with their imaginatively arranged motifs from the Roman 'campagna', an idyllic and cheerful air. Dughet's careful preparation for the wall paintings is documented by precise design drawings that even include details of the staffage. With their uniform and continuous horizon, these wall paintings, reproduced in the years 1781 and 1813 in complete sets of engravings, are also an important precursor of the landscape panoramas so popular in the later eighteenth century.

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