Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Casper van Wittel - Villa Farnese at Caprarola

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


  1. An interesting introduction to the artist for me. Thanks.

  2. Are you home already or just pre-posting? I think it would be interesting to see a painting of a modern city in this style. I wonder what they would choose to include.

  3. After surviving the very tight airport security in Tel-Aviv I'm back home again! Israel is a beautiful country, someday I'll return and spend more time over there.

  4. Ludovico Maraini-Roma-03-02-2013.

    Denominazione errata: villa Aldobrandini a Frascati.

    Denominazione corretta: palazzo Farnese con veduta di Caprarola.

    1. http://www.artnet.com/artwork/425872979/424237643/gaspar-van-wittel-frascati-view-of-the-villa-aldobrandini.html

      Ludovico Maraini


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