Sunday, April 10, 2016

Agostino Tassi (1578 - 1644)

Sant'Onofrio
Chapel of the Rosary
If you are a bit of a fan of Artemisia Gentileschi like I am you will already know a little bit about Agostino Tassi. 
It is thought that he was born in Perugia, his father was Domenico Buonamici, a furrier, and Agostino adopted the name Tassi while in the service of the Marchese Tassi where he was a page to give himself a grander background. 
When he was 20 he travelled to Florence and entered the service of the Grand Duke Ferdinand de' Medici, during this time he was arrested for petty crimes and sentenced as a galley slave. 
Mainly he worked in Rome and specialised in illusionistic, architectural fresco decorations, landscapes and seascapes. 
In 1611 Tassi worked for the Borghese pope, Paul V, collaborating with Orazio Gentileschi
In 1613 he was convicted and sentenced to a year in prison for raping his student, Artemesia Gentileschi, Orazio's daughter. 
After prison he worked at Villa Lante in Bagnaia under the direction of Cavaliere d'Arpino, painting the trompe l'oeil ceiling with hanging bird cages, with Giovanni Lanfranco decorating the Sala Regia in the Palazzo Quirinale, and collaborating with Guercino in the Sala della Fama and the Casino dell' Aurora at Villa Ludovisi (1621).
Around 1620 Tassi was commissioned to decorate the facade of the Chapel of the Rosary in Sant'Onofrio, creating the fresco of the two sibyls and at this time Claude Lorrain became his pupil.
He died in 1644 in poverty and is buried in Santa Maria del Popolo.



Agostino Tassi Art in Rome
Palazzo Pallavicini
Garden Casino (figures painted by Orazio Gentileschi)
Casino del Patriarca Biondo lunettes of hunting scenes ceiling painted by Paul Bril
Palazzo Quirinale
Sala Regia (now the Sala dei Corazzieri) with Giovanni Lanfranco
Stanza di San Paolo fresco Life of Saint Paul
Villa Ludovisi
Sala della Fama (collaborated with Guercino)
Casino dell'Aurora (framed surrounds for Guercino's Aurora)
Palazzo Costaguti
perspective surrounds for Guercino and Domenichino's ceilings
Palazzo Lancellotti
landscape frescoes, coastal scenes and architectural illusion frescoes
Galleria Doria Pamphilj
Friezes of coastal scenes and shipwrecks
Sant'Onofrio
Chapel of the Rosary facade with sibyls
San Marcello 
Villa Lante in Bagnaia Casino Montalto
Pinacoteca Capitolina
Competition on the Capitoline Hill
Castel Sant'Angelo

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These are a few of my favourite books about Rome

The Cardinal's Hat by Mary Hollingsworth
This book tells the story of one of the sons of Lucrezia Borgia who became a cardinal during the 16th century.

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev
I love this book telling the story of Caterina Sforza who was fighting against the Borgia pope to retain the rights of her land and her freedom.

The Popes by John Julius Norwich
A detailed but easy and enjoyable book to read about the history of the papacy and the popes.

The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P Murphy
This book describes in beautiful detail, the life and times of Pope Julius II daughter, Felice della Rovere.

The Families Who Made Rome by Anthony Majanlahti
I love this Book! It explains the families who made Rome what it is as we see it today and also looks at their triumphs, scandals and failures.

Rome by Robert Hughes
This book explains Rome from its beginning and expands on the Renaissance and Baroque until present times.

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr
Another of my favourite reads about a lost Caravaggio painting and the search for its provenance.