VALESIO, Giovanni Luigi
(b. ca. 1583, Bologna, d. ca. 1633, Roma)

Ceiling painting

Casino dell'Aurora, Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi, Rome

The Casino dell'Aurora is the only portion spared from nineteenth-century demolition of the Villa Ludovisi (later Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi) in Rome. Originally the Casino, erected around 1570 and enlarged in the nineteenth century, was a three-story structure on a cruciform ground plan. During the pontificate of Pope Gregory XV Ludovisi the villa and its casino were used mainly for official functions such as dinners for the college of cardinals.

The Casino is decorated by paintings on the ground floor and the second floor. Giovanni Luigi Valesio was the author of the ceiling painting in the former library on the ground floor in the Casino Dell'Aurora. It simulates an opening above a balustrade depicted in perspective. Behind it gambol crowds of putti with intertwining bands whose isolated letters produce Cardinal Ludovisi's name and title. The background is painted in a deep rich shade of blue. The ceiling is a visual feast of rich colours, movement and joy.

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