Villa Madama, Rafael

Villa Madama, Rafael
Villa Madama, Rafael

Throughout the history of art you can study great artists who created imposing sculptures or fabulous paintings or even architects who have gone down in the annals of history. However, there is also a small and reduced number of men who excelled in various artistic disciplines so that their greatness is equally reflected in a sculpture, a painting or an architectural work. Proof of this is the work that we are analyzing today, an architecture by one of the most renowned painters of the Renaissance period, Rafael de Sanzio or Rafael de Urbino.


The artist is recognized for being part of the well-known Renaissance triad together with such outstanding men as Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo Buonarroti, his paintings in the Vatican Rooms are world famous, as well as his compositions around the Virgin with the Child, known as Raphael's Madonnas. But as a good humanist of his time, Rafael achieved great success in other fields and in addition to being an art theorist and painter, he carried out important works of architecture such as the work we are analyzing here, Villa Madama.

Throughout the 16th century, recreational villas became fashionable among Italian aristocrats, far away were the echoes of urban palaces and even further away the ancient medieval castles; with the villas it was intended to unify the Renaissance palace with thenatural environment and this built by Raphael in 1520 is the first villa built in Rome, specifically on the slopes of Monte de Mario. At first it was a commission from Cardinal Guilio de Médicis, who would later go down in history as Pope Clement VII, although Alejandro de Médicis later inherited it and used it as the home of his wife Madama of Austria or Margaret of Parma and hence its name as Villa Madama.

Rafael conceived the work as if it were a Roman baths, or at least its interior space reflects it. The building is articulated around two transverse corridors that intersect and divide the space into adjoining rooms. At the ends of the floor there are large pillars that are articulated to develop vaults to the outside.

Rafael's original plan was a large villa that was built around a large central oval duck, with spaces covered by very high vaults and others for horse chariots and even a theater; however, the artist died before completing the work and a few years later the Saco di Roma caused the works to be paralyzed and they were not resumed until years later with a much more modest project than Raphael's original design.

Popular topic