At the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Carracci Gallery in the Farnese Palace - today the seat of the French Embassy in Rome - marked a profound revival in the art of decorating on a grand scale. It was there that Annibale and his brother Agostino, together with their workshop, brought their masterpiece into being, breaking with late Mannerism to find fresh inspiration characterized by naturalism and classicism. The iconographic programme of the vault, where imitation ornament and real painting commingle so brilliantly, established a new link between painting and poetry.
Fresco is in harmony with stucco, making the whole gallery a work of art to the glory of the Farnese and their collection.
The gallery's restoration completed in 2015 has brought the frescoes and stuccoes back to their original colours, returning this imposing ensemble to its original consistency. It has also given rise to many discoveries, as this book reveals for the first time.
With more than 150 illustrations, the hitherto unpublished essays by leading Carracci specialists and historians of the Farnese afford the reader a penetrating insight into the history of the gallery and its decorations.