Villa Farnese at Caprarola by Casper van Wittel (Amersfoort, 1653 - Rome, 1736).
Painted in 1720-1725.
June 2011 I posted this painting by Casper van Wittel with the caption 'Villa Aldobrandini at Frascati'. Last week this post received a comment by Ludovico Maraini claiming the building depicted is in fact Villa Farnese at Caprarola (a town 50 kilometers north-west of Rome). It took me a while to verify this intel (there is also a Palazzo Farnese and a Villa Farnesina in Rome) but it turned out to be entirely correct. And what a magnificent building it still is!
Villa Farnese (also called Villa Caprarola) was initially built as a pentagonal fortress by the cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1530, according to a project of the architect Antonio da Sangallo, one of the most important architects of the time. After four years the project came to an halt when the cardinal was elected pope in 1534 under the name Paul III. His grandson, also named Alessandro Farnese, turned the partly constructed fortified edifice into a villa in the second half of the 16th century.
next episode: a queen