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Villa Albani

Villa Albani - Brief History

Cardinal Alessandro AlbaniIn 1746 Cardinal Alessandro Albani acquired a vineyard between the Via Nomentana and the Via Salaria, with the intention of providing a suitable setting for his collection of ancient sculpture.

From 1758 he was assisted in this collection by his librarian, the antiquary and Neo-classical theorist Johann Joachim Winckelmann.

Carlo Marchionni, who had previously worked for the Cardinal at Anzio and Castelgandolfo, was commissioned to design the main palace, which was constructed between 1755 and 1762.

Villa Albani - Architecture

The massive central block in nine bays consists of an open ground floor loggia of compressed Serlianas flanked by banded Ionic pilasters. Above, the piano nobile is articulated by plain Corinthian pilasters flanking windows with rusticated surrounds surmounted by combined segmental and triangular pediments.

The loggia is continued at reduced height and stepped back to create single-storey lateral galleries. In the architecture of the palace only the horizontality and lack of central emphasis of the main block foreshadow the values and interests of Neo-classicism.

These are strongly evident, however, in the interiors, decorated and painted by Anton Raphael Mengs, and the neo-Antique garden buildings, including a ruined temple designed by Marchionni under the influence of Winckelmann. These were intended to provide appropriate allegorical environments for ancient sculpture, such as the celebrated Antinous relief (AD 130–38).

Villa Albani Map&Location

Villa Albani Address: Via Salaria, 92, 00198 Roma, Italy. Get help with directions using the map provided bellow:

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 Villa Albani Photos

Villa Albani  - Photo © Albert
Villa Albani in 18yh century - Giuseppe Vasi (1710–1782)
Villa Albani Rome © Kholburn