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Mar 8, 2013

Villa Farnesina: the popes' banker's residence.

Commissioned by Agostino Chigi the banker of the popes, the villa was meant for a woman: his young Venetian mistress Francesca Ordeaschi who some years later he made his wife. They had five children, who were illegitimate.  When he became seriously ill (he was only 54) he decided to marry her and the marriage was celebrated by the pope Leo X. Chigi died the following year.
Between 1506–1510 the Sienese artist Baldassarre Peruzzi designed the villa intended to be a summer pavilion.  Best known are Raphael’s frescoes on the ground floor; in the loggia: Cupid and Psyche and The Triumph of Galatea (this one so reminiscent of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus!).

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