Decoration of the Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence (1706-07)
by Sebastiano RICCI

The imposing palace was constructed by Gherardo Silvani for the Castelli, a wealthy merchant family. It was one of the most elegant structures erected by a private citizen in Florence in the seventeenth century. In 1658 the palace passed to the Marucelli, another family of merchants and landowners. The new residence became the setting for the social and political rise of this family until it died out in 1783. In 1829 the palace came into the possession of the influential Fenzi banking family. Since 1971it has belonged to the University of Florence.

After 1700 there had been major architectural changes in the palace, and the changed interiors were decorated by sculpture and painting. The Sala d'Ercole on the north side of the courtyard on the ground floor, and two other rooms on the south side were frescoed by Sebastiano Ricci. He was probably commissioned by Giovanni Filippo Marucelli (1689-1772). This commission required Ricci to work in the medium of oil painting as well as fresco, and two other rooms contains oil paintings on the ceiling.

The largest room on the ground floor is the Sala d'Ercole, a hall with two window bays. It has three entrances and presents an elaborate painted decoration extending across all four walls and the entire ceiling. The pictorial program contains the Labours and Apotheosis of Hercules. Two adjacent rooms have oil paintings with Amor punito and Amor virtutis, respectively.

In the first room on the south side of the courtyard the ceiling fresco presents the Triumph of Pax and Abundatia over Mars. The ceiling of the adjacent room is devoted to Youth between Virtue and Vice.

Preview Picture Data Info
General view of the Sala d'Ercole
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Hercules and Cacus
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Hercules at the Crossroads
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Hercules and Nessus
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Hercules and Antaeus
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Personification of Agricultura
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Apotheosis of Hercules
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Cardinal Virtue
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Cardinal Virtue
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Cardinal Virtue
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Cardinal Virtue
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Mercury
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Triumph of Pax and Abundatia over Mars
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Youth between Virtue and Vice
1706-07
Fresco
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


The Magnanimity of Scipio
1706-07
Oil on canvas, 195 x 265 cm
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus Called from the Plow to the Dictatorship
1706-07
Oil on canvas, 195 x 265 cm
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


The Punishment of Amor by Anteros
1706-07
Oil on canvas
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence


Amor Virtutis Casts Ignorantia down into Orcus
1706-07
Oil on canvas
Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi, Florence



Paintings by Sebastiano RICCI
Oil paintings (1) | Oil paintings (2)
Decoration of the Palazzo Marucelli-Fenzi
Other frescoes



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