Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Frescoes from the Villa Stati-Mattei

Baldassare Tommaso Peruzzi (Italian, Ancaiano 1481–1536 Rome)
Fresco, transferred to canvas
(1-12) each 12 7/8 x 12 7/8 in. (32.7 x 32.7 cm); (13-14) each 13 7/8 x 26 7/8 in. (35.2 x 68.3 cm); (15-22) each 35 1/8 x 20 1/2 in. (89.2 x 52.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
Not on view
Villa Stati-Mattei, Rome (about 1520–1856); Stati family, Villa Stati-Mattei (from about 1520); Paolo Mattei, Villa Stati-Mattei (from about 1560/61); Mattei family, Villa Stati-Mattei (until 1689; sold to Spada); Paolo Antonio di Ridolfo Spada, Villa Stati-Mattei (from 1689); Spada family, Villa Stati-Mattei (until about 1740); conte Pietro Magnani, Villa Stati-Mattei (by 1746); Magnani family, Villa Stati-Mattei (until about 1776/77; sold to Rancoureil); abbé Rancoureil, Villa Stati-Mattei (about 1776/77–85); Brunati, Villa Stati-Mattei (1785–at least 1794); the Colocci family, Villa Stati-Mattei (until 1818; sold to Gell); William Gell and Charles Mills, Villa Stati-Mattei (from 1818); Charles Mills, Villa Stati-Mattei (until at least 1841); Robert Smith, Villa Stati-Mattei (by 1849); Nuns of the Visitation, Villa Stati-Mattei (1856); Domenico Fioramonte (1856); marchese Giovanni Pietro Campana di Cavelli, Rome; Malanca family, Rome (by 1922–47); [Ettore Sestieri, Rome, 1947–48; sold through Gabriel Sonnino to MMA]
Rome. Villa Stati-Mattei. "Long-term loan - Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, Villa Stati-Mattei," from February 22, 1989.

Giulio Mancini. Viaggio per Roma per vedere le pitture che in essa si ritrovano. [ca. 1621] [published in "Considerazioni sulla pittura," Rome, 2 vols., 1956–57, vol. 1, 1956, p. 285], mentions works by Baldassare [Peruzzi] in the garden of the villa.

Mariano Vasi. Itinerario istruttivo di Roma. Rome, 1794, vol. 1, p. 161, states that the villa was at that time owned by the Brunati family (formerly Spada and Magnani), and mentions the casino, with a fresco of Venus believed to be by Raphael, and other pictures of Hercules and the Muses.

Giuseppe Antonio Guattani. Roma descritta ed illustrata. 1805, vol. 1, p. 48 n. 3, refers to the loggia as the country house of Raphael, and attributes the frescoes to Raphael's immediate circle, possibly with his intervention.

Quatremère de Quincy. Istoria della vita e delle opere di Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino. Ed. Francesco Longhena. Milan, 1829, p. 205 n. 2, Longhena quotes the opinion of Missirini, who attributes the ceiling frescoes to Giovanni da Udine.

Antonio Nibby, ed. Itinéraire de Rome et de ses environs.. By M[ariano]. Vasi. Rome, 1834, vol. 1, p. 118, states that the villa belongs to Charles Mills; attributes the frescoes to Raphael; describes the two scenes as representing Hercules and other divinities, and the Muses.

Antonio Nibby. Roma nell'anno MDCCCXXXVIII. Vol. 1, Antica. Rome, 1839, pp. 465–66, attributes them to Raffaellino del Colle on cartoons by Raphael; gives information on the history of the ownership of the villa.

J. D. Passavant. Rafael von Urbino und sein Vater Giovanni Santi. Vol. 1, Leipzig, 1839, p. 287, states that the villa belongs to Charles Mills; attributes the frescoes to Giulio Romano, dating them soon after the death of Raphael in 1520; tentatively identifies the two scenes as Mnemosyne with four Muses, and the marriage of Hercules and Hebe in the presence of Jupiter and Juno; reports the existence of two etchings after the latter composition: one by G. Audran and one, in reverse, by P. S. Bartoli.

J. D. Passavant. Rafael von Urbino und sein Vater Giovanni Santi. Vol. 2, Leipzig, 1839, pp. 284–86.

Antonio Nibby. Roma nell'anno MDCCCXXXVIII. Vol. 2, Moderna. Rome, 1841, pp. 959–60, attributes them to the school of Raphael.

J.-D. Passavant. Raphael d'Urbin et son père Giovanni Santi. Paris, 1860, vol. 1, pp. 238–39; vol. 2, pp. 233–34.

S. Guédéonoff. "Notice sur les objets d'art de la Galerie Campana à Rome acquis pour le Musée Impérial de l'Ermitage à Saint-Pétersbourg." Gazette des beaux-arts 11 (1861), pp. 85–86, states that the arms of the Mattei family on the ceiling of the loggia are overpaint; adds that when the nuns acquired the property, they gave the loggia frescoes to the marchese Campana, who had them removed.

Rodolfo Lanciani. The Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome. Boston, 1897, p. 142, states that the frescoes were painted by Raffaellino del Colle, and were restored in 1824.

Alfonso Bartoli. "La villa Mills sul Palatino." Rassegna contemporanea 1 (1908), pp. 96–97, attributes some of the frescoes to the school of Raphael, rejecting the attributions to Giulio Romano and Raffaellino del Colle.

Emilio Lavagnino. "Di alcuni affreschi inediti della scuola di Raffaello." L'arte 25 (September–December 1922), pp. 181–87, figs. 1–11 (details), as in the collection of the Malanca family, Rome; attributes them to Giulio Romano.

Alfonso Bartoli. "Scavi del Palatino (Domus Augustana) 1926–1928." Notizie degli scavi di antichità, 6th ser., 5 (1929), pp. 7, 23.

Helen Comstock. "The Connoisseur in America: Reorganization at the Metropolitan." Connoisseur 133 (April 1954), p. 139, ill. (detail), attributes them to Giulio Romano and dates them about 1520.

Luigi Salerno in Giulio Mancini. Considerazioni sulla pittura. Vol. 2, Rome, 1957, pp. 203–4 n. 1536, judging from photographs of the frescoes, finds it difficult to establish Peruzzi's authorship [see Ref. Mancini 1621].

N. B. Krasnova. Palatine Frescoes of the School of Raphael in the Hermitage. Leningrad [St. Petersburg], 1961, pp. 26ff., figs. 13–19 (details), attributes the two scenes to Giulio Romano and the rest of the frescoes to Giovanni da Udine, dating them about 1517–18; compares the figures standing in pavilions with a drawing by Giovanni in the Hermitage.

Christoph L. Frommel. "Beobachtungen zu Peruzzis figuralem Oeuvre." Kunstchronik 15 (October 1962), p. 269, attributes them to Peruzzi and dates them about 1515–17.

Philip Pouncey. Letter. 1965 [see Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1980], attributes them to Peruzzi, and compares them with Peruzzi's grotesque frescoes in the loggetta of the Società Filarmonica in Rome.

Christoph Luitpold Frommel. Baldassare Peruzzi als Maler und Zeichner. Vienna, [1968], pp. 43–44, 97–99, no. 56, figs. XLIIIb, XLIVa, XLIVb (details), attributes them to Peruzzi and dates them about 1519–20; suggests that they were commissioned by Cristoforo Stati; publishes two documents of 1595 and 1599, the earlier one recording payment to Cavaliere d'Arpino for restoration of frescoes by Peruzzi; tentatively identifies the two scenes as Venus with other figures, and Hercules' arrival at Olympus.

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 161–62, 467, 472–73, 492, 608, as from the "school, shop, or studio" of Peruzzi; identify .13 as Mnemosyne with four muses and .14 as the wedding of Hercules and Hebe.

Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sienese and Central Italian Schools. New York, 1980, pp. 61–64, pls. 86–107, attribute them to Peruzzi and date them about 1520; identify the first scene as Venus and Cupid with Poetry, Drama, Dance, and Music, and call the second scene an unidentified mythological subject.

Antonio Forcellino. "La decorazione della loggia Stati sul Palatino." Storia dell'arte no. 51 (1984), pp. 119–25, identifies the two scenes as two moments in the wedding of Hercules and Hebe: in the first she advances towards him accompanied by Cupid, and in the second he is presented to Jupiter.

Federico Castelli Gattinara and Cristina Ruiz. "Glorifying Rome." Art Newspaper no. 77 (January 1998), p. 26, ill. (installation photograph).

These frescoes are from the ceiling of a loggia of a villa on the Palatine Hill, Rome. The villa was built by the Stati family, a member of which also commissioned the loggia frescoes. Later the villa was acquired by Paolo Mattei, and it subsequently changed hands several times. The loggia is the only part of the villa still extant. The frescoes are now on long-term loan from the Museum to Rome, where they have been re-installed in their original locations in the loggia.

The subjects of the Museum's frescoes are: the signs of the Zodiac—Aquarius (.8), Pisces (.2), Aries (.4), Taurus (.6), Gemini (.3), Cancer (.7), Leo (.10), Virgo (.5), Libra (.9), Scorpio (.11), Sagittarius (.1), and Capricorn (.12); Venus and Cupid with Poetry, Drama, Dance, and Music (.13); unidentified mythological subject (.14); Thalia (.15), Terpsichore (.16), Erato (.17), Urania (.18), Euterpe (.19), Minerva (.20), Melpomene (.21), and Apollo (.22).

Eight mythological scenes from the walls of the loggia are in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (nos. 2332–39).
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