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The Villa Farnesina
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Book description

The frescoes of Peruzzi, Raphael and Sodoma still dazzle visitors to the Villa Farnesina, but they survive in a stripped-down environment bereft of its landscape, sealed so it cannot breathe. Turner takes you outside that box, restoring these canonical images to their original context, when each element joined in a productive conversation. He is the first to reconstruct the architect-painter Peruzzi's original, well-proportioned, well-appointed building and to re-visualize his lost façade decoration‒erotic scenes and mythological figures who make it come alive and soar upward. More comprehensively than any previous scholar, he reintegrates painting, sculpture, architecture, garden design, topographical prints and drawings, archaeological discoveries and literature from the brilliant circle around the patron Agostino Chigi, the powerful banker who 'loved all virtuosi' and commissioned his villa-palazzo from the best talents in multiple arts. It can now be understood as a Palace of Venus, celebrating aesthetic, social and erotic pleasure.


‘This book is an absolute masterwork, impeccably and exhaustively researched, the material interpreted with wide and deep expertise filtered through the inspired genius of both the author and his protagonists, and the whole account beautifully written and easy to follow. It is a perfect match of scholar and subject.’

Ingrid Rowland - University of Notre Dame

‘This volume is one of the single most important works in the field of Renaissance Studies to come along in some time. The book promises to be the locus classicus for all future studies of Chigi’s villa, the art that adorns it, and the world in which it was made.’

Paul Barolsky - University of Virginia

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