(b. 1485, Venezia, d. 1547, Roma)

View of the Loggia di Galatea

Villa Farnesina, Rome

After the building was completed the initial focus of the decoration was the garden loggia on the Tiber side of the villa (the Loggia di Galatea). Originally it opened to the landscape on two sides through arcades. The vault of the loggia was decorated by Baldassare Peruzzi in 1510-11, while the lunettes were painted in the fall of 1511 by Sebastiano del Piombo. Chigi probably had two sections of the wall painted in 1512, the others were not decorated until the seventeenth century.

On the left Sebastiano del Piombo depicted the cyclops Polyphemus sitting on a charming, idyllic coastline with a dog, a flute, sand a shepherd's crook. He is looking longingly at the sea, out to the right, where in the adjacent field of the wall Raphael depicted the voyage of the nereid Galatea. Sebastiano's Polyphemus is a Venetian painting of mood, rich in atmosphere, treated in an airy and loose style. Raphael's Voyage of Galatea shows beauty and grace in the clear, artful study of her body, in the harmonious, symmetrically balanced composition of the figures.

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