Mobile menu
Welcome back to the royal residences. Find out more about our measures to keep you safe.

Raphael's career as an architect saw him work on St Peter's Basilica, Vatican

Rudolph Redtenbacher (1840-85)

Plans of Villa Madama published 1876

Lithograph | 18.7 x 26.9 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 854177

Your share link is...

  Close

A lithograph after a drawing now in the Uffizi, Florence representing plans of Villa Madama, an unfinished architectural project started c.1518 by Raphael and decorated after Raphael's death by his workshop. This print is lettered with a title, which attributes the drawing to Antonio da Sangallo, and the numbers "Fig. 1; Fig.2". Lettered throughout. According to Ruland (1876), this print was published by R. Redtenbacher in "Lutzow's Zeitschrift" (1876, no. II). Annotated on the verso.

Scholarly opinion traditionally agreed that, although Pope Leo X took a strong personal interest in the project of Villa Madama, his cousin Cardinal Giulio de' Medici (later Pope Clement VII) was ultimately responsible for this project. In a book about the Villa, Lefevre (see Bibliographic References) published an archival document attesting that the vineyard of the Villa – built on the slopes of Monte Mario, not far from the Vatican – was owned by the Vatican Chapter and therefore by Pope Leo X, rather than the Medici family. According to Lefevre, Giulio de' Medici owned the Villa only after the death of Leo X, who, whilst alive, entrust ed the project to his cousin.

The magnificent original plan was never put in place: the construction of the Villa seems to have stopped after the death of Raphael and only the decoration continued from 1520 to 1523. Giorgio Vasari in the lives of Giulio Romano and Raphael gives inconsistent information about the architect of the project and Lefevre believes that the authorship of Villa Madama should be assigned to Raphael, whose designs were used by Antonio da Sangallo and his workshop, while Giulio Romano, being Raphael's most experienced pupil, was in charge of the practical execution of the project.

According to Jones and Penny (see Bibliographic References), the Cardinal wanted Giovanni da Udine to execute the stuccoes and Giulio Romano the paintings (or at least to design them), therefore showing that the decorative plans had not been decided upon before Raphael's death. Although Vasari does not mention Baldassarre Peruzzi in relation to this project, recent literature has confirmed his involvement and Lefevre suggests that Giovanni Penni may also have been involved.

  • Creator(s)

    Rudolph Redtenbacher (1840-85) (author)

    Associated with Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1484-1546) (architect)

    Associated with Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (designer)

    Associated with Giulio Romano (Rome c. 1499-Mantua 1546) (artist)

  • annotation: illegible [verso, centre, In ink]
  • 18.7 x 26.9 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Progetto per la Villa Madama a Roma (di A. da S.Gallo)

  • Added to the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection (c.1853-76)

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • prints
    Subject(s)
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Italy
          • Lazio [Italy]
            • Rome [Lazio]
              • Villa Madama [Rome]
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Architecture
        • Architectural design
      • Art
        • Paintings
          • Frescoes
  • Other number(s)

    Ruland p.299 A.XII.13

    Bibliographic reference(s)

    Jones/Penny 1983 : Jones, R. and Penny, N. Raphael, 1983 pp. 226-234