Villa Madama, Raphael

Commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de' Medici (who was crowned Pope Clement VII in 1523), Villa Madama is located on the banks of the Tiber just a few miles north of Rome. Built between 1518 and 1527, Villa Madama was designed by Raphael. Because Raphael died before completion, Sangallo the Younger was assigned to oversee construction. There are some similarities in the design of the Belvedere Court in the Vatican palace:

-quadripartite vaulting with three bays
-influenced by the Roman triumphal arch
-courtyard with circular center, monumental rustic columns set in to exterior wall
-open air ampitheatre excavated into the hillside
-shift from simplicity to splendor

Raphael had been inspired by Pliny's descriptions of villas in antiquity; and so he set out to recreate a classical villa.

Domus Aurea

The interior of the Loggia was designed by Raphael and carried out by Giulio Romano. At this time Nero's palace, Domus Aurea, had been discovered. The grotesche decoration was an exciting source of inspiration for Renaissance artists.


  1. i love villa madama and i believe is a masterpiece. Thanks for writting about it. have a nice day! and keep up!

  2. “Yesterday, for example, for the first
    time I was in Raphael’s villa, where at the side of his
    beloved one he found still greater bliss than in all art and
    all fame. It is a holy monument. Prince Doria has
    acquired it, and seems disposed to treat it as it deserves to
    be treated. Raphael has portrayed his beloved twenty-
    eight times on the wall in all kinds of clothing and costume ;
    even in the historical compositions his women resemble
    her. The situation of the house is very beautiful. It is
    easier to speak than write of it. One must observe all the
    details…” (Italian Journey)