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.
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.