odescalchi_castello
castello odescalchi di bracciano
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castello odescalchi di bracciano


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castello odescalchi di bracciano @ all right reserved 2018

Construction began on the Odescalchi Castle in 1470. Commissioned by Napoleon Orsini and possibly designed by architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini, the Castle was completed in 1485 under the supervision of his son Gentile Virginio.


Over the centuries the mansion has undergone radical changes. Due to its strategic geographical position the most important noble families of Rome (the Colonna and Borgia) often fought bitterly for ownership of the Castle. In 1496 Pope Alexander VI Borgia even went so far as to confiscate it.

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the first pictorial


The first important pictorial embellishments in the castle date to those war-torn years. The famous cycle of Late Medieval style paintings portray female members of the family and illustrate life in the palace during the passing of the seasons and over the years.

1496

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the rise of the orsini family

The particularly remarkable fresco is the Triumph of Gentile Virginio Orsini by a well-known fifteenth-century painter, Antoniazzo Romano.

However, it was only after the death of the vengeful Borgia pope that the Castle again passed into the hands of the Orsini family. From that moment on the family devoted itself to enlarging and embellishing this magnificent mansion.

Towards the end of the sixteenth century the architect and sculptor Giacomo del Duca, one of Michelangelo's students, painted several works of art for the sumptuous wedding of Paolo Giordano Orsini and Isabella de' Medici.

The brothers Taddeo and Federico Zuccari, distinguished interpreters of Late Renaissance art, painted several frescoes for the event including the couple’s horoscope and the emblems of the two famous families. They also decorated several rooms, in particular the room in which Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere sojourned in 1481 when he fled Rome to avoid the plague.


1679

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the French occupation

In 1696 ownership of the castle passed from the Orsini to the Odescalchi. The prestige of this ancient family originally from Como was further enhanced after one of its family members was elected Pope and took the name of Innocence XI (1676-1689). A few years later the Pope's nephew, Livio, became Prince of the Holy Roman Empire under Emperor Leopold I Hapsburg for services rendered during the war against the Turks. During the French occupation all the precious furnishings in the Castle were plundered; this event prompted its sale, with right of redemption, to the Torlonia family from Rome. Finally in 1848 Prince Livio Odescalchi III was able to redeem it from Duke Marino Torlonia. His son Baldassarre, a well-known figure in nineteenth-century Rome, had it expertly renovated by Raffaello Ojetti, a Roman architect and restorer who returned the Castle to its former glory.

1848

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the castle today

The particularly remarkable fresco is the Triumph of Gentile Virginio Orsini by a well-known fifteenth-century painter, Antoniazzo Romano. However, it was only after the death of the vengeful Borgia pope that the Castle again passed into the hands of the Orsini family. From that moment on the family devoted itself to enlarging and embellishing this magnificent mansion. Towards the end of the sixteenth century the architect and sculptor Giacomo del Duca, one of Michelangelo's students, painted several works of art for the sumptuous wedding of Paolo Giordano Orsini and Isabella de' Medici. The brothers Taddeo and Federico Zuccari, distinguished interpreters of Late Renaissance art, painted several frescoes for the event including the couple’s horoscope and the emblems of the two famous families. They also decorated several rooms, in particular the room in which Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere sojourned in 1481 when he fled Rome to avoid the plague.

FIRMA-MARIA-PACE-ODESCALCHI

2018

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