(b. 1675, Venezia, d. 1758, Roma)


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).

Under the sons of Filippo II Colonna (1663-1714) more additions were made to the palace. A new wing was erected between 1730-33 by Nicola Michetti. Of this wing only the corner pavilion has survived unchanged, and in it is one of the loveliest interiors from the Roman Rococo. The room was also designed by Michetti. The square space, which is referred to as the Coffeehouse and was in fact used as a public café up to the 1930s, fits the type of the small pleasure house that became fashionable in the eighteenth century.

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