1 Introduction - De Gruyter

1 Introduction - De Gruyter

1 Introduction 1.1 Origins The Ottoboni family established itself in Venice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through loyal service to the Se...

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1 Introduction 1.1 Origins The Ottoboni family established itself in Venice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through loyal service to the Serenissima.1 Many of its members earned distinction in sea battles against the Ottomans. For their particular successes at the Battle of Lepanto in 1572, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II honored the Ottoboni by allowing them to add the Imperial double-headed eagle to their coat of arms. Three members of the family had served as Grand Chancellors of the Venetian state, the highest official level of service allowed to those who were not members of the Venetian nobility. The third of these, Marco Ottoboni (1554-1649), corrected this limitation on family ambition by buying entry into the Venetian nobility for 100,000 ducats in 1646.2 This enterprising individual was the father of Pietro Vito Ottoboni whose election to the papacy in 1689 as Alexander VIII made him the first Venetian pope in 200 years. The Ottoboni palace in Venice was in the hands of Antonio, the son of Alexander VIII’s brother (Figure I), and the father of another Pietro (1667-1740) whom his great-uncle quickly nominated cardinal and appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Church (see Family Tree, Table 1). Their palace still stands in the parish of San Zaccaria (Figure 1.1), no. 4250.3 It had been in the contrada di San Severo until the church of San Severo was demolished in 1830 for a political prison. Little remains of the original palace to capture the flavor of its late Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque history. Traces of the old ogive arches can be seen embedded in an exterior wall, trapped in the amber of modern renovations.4

1 ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� A summary of Ottoboni family history can be found in Schiavo, 1964; Baroni, P. (1969). Un conformista del secolo diciottesimo (pp. 21-27). Bologna: Ponte Nuovo. For a comprehensive overview, see Matitti, 1997, 201-204. See also Olszewski, 2004, pp. 1-8. 2 �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� The diploma of ascription is preserved in ASV, Arch. Ottob., vol. 339, August 24, 1646. Marco Ottoboni was among the first to take advantage of the new purchase of entry allowed by the Venetian government. See Corvan, A. (1985). New Families in the Venetian Patriciate, 1646-1718. Ateneo Veneto, 23/1-2, 55-57. 3 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� AS-V, Sala di Studi, cons. 25 533 III, (1830). Delle inscrizioni veneziane raccolte ed illustre da Emmanuele Antonio Cigogna cittadino Veneto (pp. 100-101), Venice. 4  An inscription (“IN HOC SALELLO…”) located the room in which the pope had been born which was later converted to a private oratorio (Cigogna, p. 102, as in note 3), and a black marble plaque of later vintage placed in the palace identified its former owner, “ALEXANDER VIII PONT. MAX….”

© 2015 Edward J. Olszewski This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License. Unauthenticated Download Date | 7/15/18 9:26 PM



Table 1: Ottoboni Family Tree. Antonio (+1540) | Marcantonio | Pietro


Marco (1554-1645)


| Agostino (1608- )

Marcantonio (1596- )

Gio. Battista (Abbate)

Chiara (1651-1670)


Pietro (1611-1691) Alexander VIII

| Antonio (1646-1720)

Marco (1656-1725)



Pietro (1667-1740) Cardinal

Tarquinia Colonna (M. 1691) + Maria Giulia Boncompagni (M.1714) | Maria Francesca (1715-1758)

Maria Vittoria (1721-1790)

+ Pier Gregorio Boncompagni Ludovisi (M. Jan. 4, 1731) | Alessandro (1734-1780)

Antonio (1736-1803)

Marco (1741-1818)

Pietro (1740-1789)

| Alessandro (+1837)



| Marco (1832-1909)

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Figure 1.1: Palazzo Ottoboni, Venice.

The palace became the possession of Marco Ottoboni’s widow after the death of the brothers Antonio in 1720 and Duke Marco in 1725. It had been forfeited to the Venetian state in 1689 when, on Alexander VIII’s appointment of Antonio as General of the papal forces, the Venetian government repossessed all Ottoboni holdings in the city in response to what it considered to be a repudiation of allegiance to the Serenissima. This difficulty was resolved in 1701, but the Venetians seized the Ottoboni goods a

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second time in 1710 when Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni was appointed Protector of the French Crown (Figure 1.2).5 The Venetian state finally relented when Antonio died in 1720.6 After the death of his brother Marco five years later, it returned the palace to Marco’s widow, the Duchess of Fiano, Maria Giulia Boncompagni Ottoboni.

Figure 1.2: Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni as Protector of the French Crown, 1710, engraving.

5  Valesio, IV, p. 329, September 9, 1709. See also the letter of Charles-François Poerson to the Duke d’Antin concerning the Venetian threat of the removal of the Ottoboni name from the libro d’oro; Correspondance, vol. 3, pp. 319-320, no. 1374, September 14, 1709. The circulation of the engraving was prohibited by the Venetian state and all impressions were ordered destroyed. 6  Correspondence from the President of the French Academy in Rome referred to the restoration of all rights and privileges to the Ottoboni house; Correspondance, vol. 5, p. 301, no. 2215, February 20, 1720; p. 320, no 2227, April 16, 1720. For the division of goods in Venice in 1725, see ASV, Arch. Ottob., vol. 53. A decree in favor of the Duke of Fiano’s daughters was sent to Ottoboni from Venice; Chracas, vol. 37, no. 1322, January 26, 1726, p. 10. Duke Marco can be identified at the bottom of the dynastic portrait in right profile (Figure I); Antonio Ottoboni appears at the right of the group portrait in left profile facing his son, Cardinal Pietro.

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Papal Patronage 


1.2 Papal Patronage The most prominent member of the Ottoboni family was the new pope, Alexander VIII (Figure 1.3). His legal training prepared him for an illustrious career that began with his appointment in 1634 as Uditore della Sacra Rota. Four years later he was made governor of Terni, then in 1640, governor of Rieti, and the following year of Città di Castello. Innocent X Pamphili appointed him cardinal in 1652, and made him Bishop of Brescia in 1654, where he served for ten years. His legal rulings during this decade were sufficiently distinguished for their prudence and judgment to merit publication.

Figure 1.3: Lorenzo Ottoni, Pope Alexander VIII, c. 1690, marble.

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When Bishop Ottoboni returned to Rome in 1664 he became a member of the squadrone volante, a watchdog group dedicated to reform. Clement IX Rospigliosi made him his Papal Datario. Clement X Altieri assigned him the bishopric of Sabina in 1682, of Frascati two years later, then of Porto and Santa Rufina in 1687. These late appointments were often stepping stones to the papacy to which Ottoboni was elected on 6 October 1689 as Alexander VIII. When he resided in Palazzo di San Marco (Palazzo Venezia) in Rome as cardinalprotector of the Venetian nation, he assembled his sizeable art collection and acquired the library of the Altemps family and later that of Queen Christina of Sweden. Her more than 3,000 Latin manuscripts and 700 Greek manuscripts, now in the Fondo Ottoboni of the Vatican Library, were inherited by his cardinal-nephew, and acquired for the Vatican from his heirs by Benedict XIV in 1748. Alexander’s predecessor, Innocent XI, put an end to papal nepotism, even terminating the function of Vice-Chancellor, but Ottoboni favored his family with appointments, and reinstituted the Vice-Chancellorship with his cardinal-nephew, whom he also made cardinal-deacon of San Lorenzo in Damaso and Soprintendente Generale dello Stato Ecclesiastico. The pope’s successor, Innocent XII Pignatelli finally ended nepotism although the nephew’s positions as cardinal and Vice-Chancellor were life time appointments. Alexander liberalized papal policies with celebrations, grain allowances, ceremonies, theater performances, and the revival of carnival. Alexander’s brief pontificate of sixteen months (October 6, 1689 – February 1, 1691) left little time for major commissions, and came at a period in the history of the Church when the papacy was distracted by military campaigns in Eastern Europe, its funds drained in response to Ottoman inroads. For more than fifty years from the papacy of Innocent XI in 1676 to after that of Clement XI (d. 1721), the Church paid little attention to the construction of monumental projects. Papal priorities had turned to social and political concerns, reflected in architecture by the refurbishing and construction of hospitals and granaries, and by the completion of ports and customs houses. Pope Alexander VIII’s foray into architectural patronage took advantage of Carlo Fontana’s (1638-1714) skills in a modest way by modification of the Fontana Paola with the addition of a basin to the five-bay fountain structure begun by Flamino Ponzio in 1610.7 Paul V had Ponzio assemble the fountain on the Janiculum in a design similar to Sixtus V’s Aqua Felice. Later, the Chigi pope, Alexander VII, established a botanical garden behind the fountain which could be viewed through the three central arches of its backdrop. Alexander VIII added the final touch in 1690. The project reflected the pope’s concern for the Roman populace as indicated by inscriptions on papal coins, such as RE FREMENTARIA RESTITUTA which celebrated his lowering of the cost of grain.8

7  Blunt, pp. 229-230; Braham & Hager, p. 13; Hager, H. “Fontana, Carlo,” MEA, II, p. 96. 8  Although Fontana had held the title of misuratore della Reverenda Fabbrica di S. Pietro since 1666, he would not become architect of St. Peter until six years after Alexander’s death (that is, in 1697).

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Papal Patronage 


Alexander VIII’s other venture in architecture came early in his reign with the acquisition of the former Palazzo Ludovisi on the Via del Corso for his brother’s son, Marco Ottoboni.9 The purchase price of 170,000 scudi for the Duchy of Fiano which was in the diocese of Nepi included 55,000 scudi for a palace in Rome next to San Lorenzo in Lucina (Figure 1.4).10 Originally built for the titular cardinal of that church, the palace had been sold by Pope Urban VIII in 1624 to the Principe Michele Peretti who then enlarged it after the designs of Carlo Maderno.11 Eight window bays demarcated by pilasters distinguish the piano nobile on the Piazza di San Lorenzo in Lucina. Triangular pediments are reserved for the fenestration at this level which is further emphasized by a balustrade above. The balustrade also serves as an ersatz balcony for the third floor windows; rectangular windows above them define an attic story beneath the cornice.

Figure 1.4: Palazzo Fiano, Rome.

For the most recent accounts on Fontana, see Olszewski, “Carlo Fontana,” I, pp. 267-270, Hager, H., “Fontana, Carlo,” MEA, II, pp. 92-99, and bibliography therein. 9  December 2, 1690; the document for its purchase is dated January 7, 1691; ASV, Arch. Ottob., vol. 121. 10 �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Campello, p. 74, December 16, 1694; Clerici, 9-10. The location of the Palazzo Fiano was not outside of Rome in the Duchy, but on the Via del Corso; Pinto, 1980, p. 303. 11  Blunt, 1982, p. 159. Hibbard, p. 217; Guide rionali, 1977, III, parte I, pp. 82-88.

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Alexander’s gift was part of a package that included the marriage on September 30, 1690 of Marco Ottoboni and Tarquinia Colonna to ensure the Ottoboni line. Unfortunately, the Duchess died childless in 1714. The pope’s niece, Cornelia Zeno, was wed to a member of the Barberini family to become the princess of Palestrina in further fulfillment of Ottoboni pretensions in Rome. Marco’s palace on the Via del Corso now became the Palazzo Fiano (Figure 1.5). The name, Marco Ottoboni, appears above the major entrance within the cortile (Figure 1.6), and a splendid fountain in the spacious courtyard contains the double-headed eagle of the Ottoboni family crest, but only dating from c. 1888 (Figure 1.7).12

Figure 1.5: Nolli Map of Rome (Palazzo Fiano, San Lorenzo in Lucina, detail), 1748.

A final project associated with Alexander VIII was the catafalque for his funeral which the papal architect, Mattia De’ Rossi (1637-1695), had assembled in the Vatican Chapel of Sixtus IV for the members of the pope’s family and court to pay their respects (Figure 1.8). De’ Rossi had been a trusted assistant to Bernini, and replaced him as architect of the Fabbrica di San Pietro in 1680.13 Highly respected, he served as president of the Academy of Saint Luke in 1681 and 1690-1693.

12  Guide rionali, 1977, III, parte I, p. 88. 13  For more on De’ Rossi, see Olszewski, “Rossi, Mattia de,” I, pp. 756-757; Menichella, A. (1985). Matthia de’ Rossi discepolo prediletto del Bernini (p. 80). Rome: Salimbeni; Hager, H. Mattia De Rossi, MEA, I, pp. 561-565; Menichella, A. Matthia de’ Rossi architetto potificio, in La Confessione, pp. 102119; Fagiolo M. and Carandini, S. (1977). L’Effimero barocco, Strutture della festa nella Roma del 600 (p. 329). Rome; Baldinucci, F. (1966). The Life of Bernini (pp. 51, 59, 67-68, 87, 91, 105, 108). Enggass, C. (Transl.). University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press.

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Papal Patronage 


Figure 1.6: Ottoboni Doorway, Courtyard, Palazzo Fiano, Rome.

Figure 1.7: Ottoboni Fountain, 1880s, courtyard, Palazzo Fiano, Rome.

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Figure 1.8: Matteo De’ Rossi, Catafalque for Pope Alexander VIII Ottoboni, 1691, engraving.

De’ Rossi elevated the pope’s casket on a pedestal for better viewing and omitted the canopy sometimes found above the bier. With these elements and the inclusion of obelesques, the catafalque looked similar to that for the funeral of Pope Alexander VII.14 De’ Rossi further decorated it with numerous candles and four portraits of the

14  The catafalque is described briefly in Braham, A. (1975). Funeral Decorations in Early Eighteenth Century Rome (pp. 5-6). London: Victoria & Albert Museum. The catafalque for Alexander VII is illustrated in Borsi, F. (1984). Bernini (p. 278, fig. 359). New York: Rizzoli.

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Papal Patronage 


pope painted by Domenico Paradisi.15 The Ottoboni eagles and banded globes were ubiquitous. After three days, the catafalque, obviously collapsible, was moved to the chapel of the Trinity to afford the public better viewing. Indeed, De’ Rossi had designed the catafalque as a composite structure so that it could be dismantled for future use, thereby reducing its cost by 5,000 scudi.16 This also suggests that it was the property of the Church and not a family commission by Cardinal Ottoboni. The death of his great-uncle left Cardinal Ottoboni a powerful figure in the Church hierarchy because his position as Vice-Chancellor was, like the papacy, a life time appointment. The cardinal was a handsome figure, temperamental, and well versed in the arts, although his creative talents were not always impressive, nor his judgment always sound. He was something of a ladies’ man. Ottoboni delayed taking Holy Orders for thirty years to leave open the prospect of matrimony. His attempts at marriage were frustrated by lack of both income and titles. If he renounced his cardinalate he would lose his only source of income. Consequently, he remained entrenched in the Cancelleria where he dictated Roman tastes for half a century. His architectural patronage began with the Cancelleria which required renovations that engaged architects for fifty years. The Cancelleria was one of Rome’s largest and most venerable palaces. Grand even by Baroque standards, this late fifteenth century structure housed the bureaucratic center of the Church as the office of the papal Vice-Chancellor. Today it parallels the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The street of the silversmiths, via del Pellegrino, runs along the south wall. Two portals on the southeast façade give entry to the palace courtyard and to the titular basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso.17 Suites of apartments along the palace periphery surround the parallel rectangular spaces of cortile and basilica. The piazza of the east façade is a spacious link between Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Farnese to the south and Piazza Navona to the north. When Alexander VIII appointed his great-nephew cardinal, and a week later, vice-chancellor, the palace became Pietro Ottoboni’s private residence. The latter

15  The date of the conto submitted by Domenico Paradisi for the paintings would suggest that the commission was originally Alexander’s: BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol 25, no. 203, January 20, 1690; “Conto di pitture fatte p il Catafalco della felice M.a do P.a Alesandro Ottavo in S. Pietro.” For more on Paradisi, see Olszewski, 1982, 107-108; 2004, pp. 31-34; Pinto, 1980, pp. 306-307, and Hager, H. (1970). Filippo Juvarra e il concorso di modelli del 1715 bandito da Clemente XI per la nuova sacrestia di S. Pietro (p. 36), Rome: De Luca Editore. 16  BAV, Cod. Ottob 3362, Avvisi, part 1, February 10, 1691; “Le Spese del Catafalco, e Cere, dove prima erano di m/7 Scudi, hora non sono più, che di m/2 essendosi anco avvertito di fare il congiungere insieme, e servire in alter occasioni a funerali de Pontefici da venire.” 17  Originally dedicated as Santi Lorenzo e Damaso to the two paleo-Christian saints, the name changed through the centuries to San Lorenzo in Damaso. For the Cancelleria, see Lavagnino; Schiavo, 1964; Heydenreich and Lotz, pp. 67-70. The parade front was along the southeast corner; Burroughs, pp. 136-137.

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function was an administrative position of power and importance second only to that of the pope. The Vice-Chancellor presided over meetings of the Curia, and proposed candidates for vacant benefices at various levels in the Church hierarchy. Appointed at the age of twenty-two, Ottoboni served six popes, and died in 1740 during the conclave that would have elected a seventh. The Cancelleria had been the residence of several prominent Vice-Chancellors such as Giulio de’ Medici (later Pope Clement VII), Paolo Farnese (later Pope Paul III), and Alessandro Farnese. The palace had been vacant since the death of Cardinal Francesco Barberini in 1679. Because his family had removed belongings from the premises, it was much in need of renovation. Ottoboni had to refurbish the Cancelleria to renew the function of the Church bureaucracy, and to convey something of the splendor of his office. As a personal dwelling, comfort and convenience were also considerations. The young cardinal initiated a three-year campaign of renovation with energy and enthusiasm. He engaged the painter Domenico Paradisi (c. 16601727), who assembled a team of artists and artisans to embellish the palace halls.18 During this time, Ottoboni made more than 300 payments to painters and craftsmen for more than 70,000 scudi, and eventually made claims of 12,000 scudi in damages against the Barberini.19 Pietro Rossini attested to the success of Ottoboni’s efforts in his Roman guidebook of 1693, the Mercurio Errante delle Grandezze di Roma, in which he lauded the palace as one of the most culturally vital courts in the city.20 Ottoboni could have known Paolo Cortesi’s De Cardinalatu, 1510, a treatise on the ideal cardinal’s palace which offered descriptions of known palaces at the time, including the recently constructed Cancelleria.21 Its first occupant was its builder, Cardinal Raffaello Riario, papal chamberlain to Pope Julius II (r. 1503-1513), although he was never Vice-Chancellor. Cortesi’s listing of the palace household included architects, painters, singers, physicians, orators, and poets. Ottoboni’s official famiglia contained a similar cast of professions.22 Cortesi’s household numbered 120 with a stable of forty horses. Ottoboni’s monthly lists of expenses averaged 100 residents, at times approaching 120. Daily feed bills for the horses revealed a stable ranging between 32 to 45 horses.23 For Cortesi, the head of the household was a Church functionary, a bureaucrat, and a patron of culture. Because the palace represented the outward manifestation of

18  For Paradisi, see Olszewski, 1982; 1997; 1999, p. 108, n. 4; 2004, pp. 31-34. His work for Ottoboni may have begun as early as February 1691. He submitted bills for 2,500 scudi for the last half of the year. 19  BAV, Arch. Barb., Ind. II, 2282bis. 20  See Rossini, pp. 68-71. 21  See Weil-Garris and D’Amico, pp. 45-123. 22  Weil-Garris and D’Amico, p. 56. 23  Weil-Garris and D’Amico, pp. 100, n. 2, 103, n. 34. BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol. 63, after no. 24, for feed bills of June 1711 to May 1712.

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Papal Patronage 


a social unit, Ottoboni was obliged to practice Aristotelian magnificentia. The façade as a signifier of importance was complemented by a sumptuous interior given the free access of the faithful (and visitors) to the palace grounds. Splendor served public display and hospitality.24 As a guarantee, Cortesi advised a generous money supply for the Vice-Chancellor to dispense charity, avoid bribery, and live in dignity, noting that not all churchmen came from families of means, a point particularly apt in Ottoboni’s case given his lack of a personal fortune. Rossini’s guidebook went beyond Cortesi’s general guidelines and confirmed the archival documents by presenting Ottoboni’s embellishments in vivid detail. The portico to the courtyard was flanked by a pair of marble carvings of Roman matrons.25 From the cortile, a grand staircase ascended to the Ottoboni apartments on the piano nobile, or second floor. Here the Sala Riaria or public reception hall was the largest of a suite of eleven rooms. This antechamber with its balconies for singers and musicians also served as a performance hall for oratorios and puppet shows. It was the locus for conducting the business of the Holy See such as granting church benefices and indulgences. The Sala Riaria contained ten small tables of oriental alabaster, probably alternating with the dozen gilded figures of Moors, all placed along the periphery of the hall. Rossini is not explicit about the arrangement, but it must have been rhythmic in conformity with the Cardinal’s Arcadian tastes, and to lend order to the flamboyant tracery on frames and table legs. Color schemes must have reflected the cardinal’s office and Ottoboni family livery of blue and silver. Rossini noted an ebony and silver studio with silver vases, and unspecified silver figures. Ottoboni positioned a portrait of Alexander VIII, perhaps that by Baciccia (now lost), beneath a rich cornice with foliate tracery and lavishly gilded figures. Restorations in 1866 resulted in the addition of a lower cornice to mitigate the height of the room. Above the cornice, a large clock dating from Cardinal Francesco Barberini’s commission in 1667 dominated the wall.26 This was supported by Baciccia’s Allegory of Time, with frescoed figures of Apollo, Chronos, Day and Night, set against a simulated crimson hanging. Rossini called attention to the dozen door and window curtains with gold embroidery, each valued at 700 scudi, figures in silver, and a pair of golden lions with cherubs alluding to the cardinal’s native Venice. A silver model of Castel Sant’Angelo referenced the function of Ottoboni’s father, Antonio, and uncle, Marco, in their charge of papal troops. Also decorating the chamber were paintings by Raphael, Titian, Veronese, Giovanni Lanfranco, and Pietro da Cortona, added from his great-uncle’s

24  Weil-Garris and D’Amico, p. 56. 25  Rossini, p. 68. 26  Enggass, R. (1976). Baciccio: A New Fresco and Two Modelli. Burlington Magazine, 118, 589; Pio, p. 156.

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collection which had been transported from Palazzo di San Marco when he became pope. Alexander had resided there as cardinal-protector of the Venetian nation. Most of the transported paintings were religious works, such as Guido Reni’s Ecce Homo and Madonna and Child, and Pietro da Cortona’s Madonna and Child with Saint Martina. The pope acquired the latter, now in the Kimbell Museum of Art, Fort Worth, from the collection of Prince Maffeo Barberini. There were also secular subjects, such as Reni’s Bacchus and Ariadne and Giovanni Maria Crespi’s Adonis. Rossini mentioned a harpsichord in the Sala Riaria which might have been that painted by Luca Giordano (1632-1705) which displayed the Ottoboni arms and a cardinal’s hat on the body of the instrument, and a Rest on the Flight to Egypt on the inside of the cover.27 More than a dozen harpsichords were listed in the cardinal’s inventory, several probably in the apartments of his resident musicians, such as Andrea Adami and Arcangelo Corelli. Others were moved about as the music-loving cardinal presented concerts for various audiences in different settings throughout the palace, such as the Sala Riaria, the cortile, the chapel, the garden, his private rooms, and the nave of San Lorenzo. A payment to Paradisi for 100 scudi in 1696 for painting a cassa or box with fanciful animals and floral patterns might have referred to the body of a harpsichord. Also on the piano nobile were Giorgio Vasari’s frescoes in the adjacent, grand Sala dei Cento Giorni, painted in 1564 for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in honor of his grandfather, Pope Paul III. Ottoboni never attempted such permanent aggrandizement of his family because the Cancelleria was a bureaucratic center, and he lacked private wealth and income. Consequently, decorations in the palace honoring the Ottoboni house are rare unlike more secular residences such as the nearby Palazzo Farnese, or the Palazzo Barberini where family promotion is clearly manifest. Given Ottoboni’s dependence on benefices, he was unwilling to expend personal funds on projects of this scale. For example, when plans were announced to decorate the Sala Riaria to honor the papacy of Clement XI Albani in 1718, Ottoboni initially refused to bear the expenses because he had not initiated the project. Ottoboni had commissioned several large paintings and sculptural projects in 1714 to celebrate his twenty-fifth anniversary as cardinal and vice-chancellor, but neglected needed renovations of the Sala Riaria. Pope Clement delegated Lodovico Sergardi to see to its refurbishment, to the choice of artists and subjects, and to repair of its roof, providing a niggling budget of 500 scudi. Sergardi was Secretary of the Fabbrica di San Pietro and a member of the Arcadian Academy.28 Sergardi had Old Testament subjects placed on large panels below the ceiling. Other scenes honored the eighteen-year papacy of Clement XI, such as the six

27  Two harpsichords were moved “all’ teatro del S.re Trevisani” in 1701; BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol. 43, February 1701. 28  Rudolph, 1978.

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Papal Patronage 


simulated bronze medallions on opposite walls depicting events from his reign. Ten vedute (eight survive) portray the various churches that Clement had renovated and some of his early works projects. Niches opposite the window wall were decorated with personifications of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. Rossini mentioned other rooms that Ottoboni freshened with wall coverings in gold brocade, tapestries, chairs, and matching canopies. These may have been some of the 16,000 scudi of fabrics and crystal he purchased during several months in Venice in 1693.29 Rossini did not identify a hall of mirrors but references to such a room suggest his purchases may have included glassware, chandeliers, and mirrors.30 Canopied beds in crimson damask and gold braid with matching chairs occupied two state bedrooms. One had a litter supported by gilded cherubs, a marble portrait bust of Queen Christina of Sweden (r. 1632-1654, d. 1689), and a throne said to have been acquired from her. This was upholstered in gold brocade with accompanying tapestries. Rossini recommended the portrait bust as the most beautiful in Rome.31 Ottoboni’s maestro di casa and court musician, Andrea Adami, claimed in a sworn statement after the cardinal’s death, that it was a carving by Bernini that Alexander VIII had acquired from the Queen’s estate.32 Near the bedrooms, the cardinal’s chapel contained frescoes by Francesco Salviati and Perino del Vaga. Also in the suite of apartments was an aviary with a perspective view, ornaments, and a lively fountain. Ottoboni’s library was housed in the five remaining rooms on the piano nobile conveniently located on the southeast side of the palace favored by the morning light as Cortesi had advised in his treatise. An apartment above the piano nobile had a room with miniature portraits as well as the famous collection of ancient medals assembled by Ottoboni’s great-uncle. Domenico Paradisi painted large sheets of canvas murals with floral motifs, birds, putti, masks, and the heraldic doubleheaded eagles of the Ottoboni arms for several of these rooms. Ottoboni’s inventories describe these murals as mostly landscapes and seascapes, with some identified more precisely as hunting and fishing scenes, a Diana the Huntress, a Cerberus, and a Hercules.33 Other scenes apparently positioned above wainscoting were painted by Francesco Borgognone (c. 1660-1731). Rossini praised Ottoboni’s beautiful garden with its grand trees including several varieties of citrus. This would have been along the back or northwest corner adjacent to the palace stables.34 Paradisi was paid for pigments for Ottoboni’s first theater in May 1690.35 Intended to be a commercial venture, it was located on the ground floor for easy public access.

29  Campello, 1887, p. 57; BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol. 30, no. 172. 30  See Olszewski, 1999, p. 108, n. 20. 31  Rossini, p. 70; “Il ritratto della Regina Cristina di marmo, è il piu bello che si trova in Roma.” 32  Olszewski, 2004, p. 221. 33  ASR, R.C.A. 604, nos. 689, 691-695, 697-698. 34  ASM, busta 67 [66], Avvisi di Roma, April 29, 1690. 35  BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol. 15, no. 615, May 24, 1690.

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The architect was Simone Felice del Lino, a pupil of Carlo Fontana. The end of Alexander’s brief papacy in early 1691 frustrated Ottoboni’s plans. The new pope, Innocent XII Pignatelli (r. 1691-1700), ordered the theater to be dismantled in 1692, and Ottoboni obviously complied because Rossini made no mention of it in his guidebook of 1693.36 Within two years, however, a new theater was underway; this was a private chamber for puppet performances.37 There was a respected Roman tradition for puppet enactments of religious plays, and the confined space free of live actors and a paying audience was deemed acceptable. This was located on the top floor of the Cancelleria opposite via del Pellegrino. A staircase led from the theater to the cardinal’s private apartments below. Musical plays were performed here for Christmas in 1694 and 1695, and Ottoboni entertained the Imperial Ambassador in February 1696.38 The following month, Ottoboni arranged for a lantern to be broken through the roof of the “teatrino nel stanzione,” clearly a small theater in a large hall. This was cited in a conto a month later as “il teatro Novo de Burattini” which was a space for stick puppets, possibly life size.39 The theater space continued to develop with the passing of years. In 1707 Pellegrini added steps, a stage, a door, and made scenery changes.40 Then, between April 1709 and July 1710, another new resident, Filippo Juvarra, enlarged the theater to a full performance hall with four tiers of loges, which requires further discussion.

36  BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol. 13, March 2, 1690; “[Bastiano] Cartone falegname d’ordine per il modello fatto del Teatro ordinate dall’architetto d’ordine del S. S. Ottoboni…Felice Delino.” BAV, Cod. Ottob. Lat. 3279, March 8, 1692; “Potevano gia far di meno del detto Decreto perche il detto Card.e gia ha dato principio à far disfare il suo teatro nella Cancelleria, e non vuol piu che si faccia l’altro à San Lorenzo in Lucina benche gia ne havetta fatto fare il disegno.” 37  Identified as “Domenico Paradisi Architetto,” he painted a curtain for a small theater for puppet performances, “per haver fatto piante e disegni e modelli per il teatrino;” BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol. 28, fasc. 71, 1695, for 300 scudi. 38  BAV, Cod. Ottob. Lat. 3359, fol. 24v, January 15, 1695; fol. 85v, December 31, 1695; Cod. Ottob. Lat. 3361, fol. 10v, February 4, 1696; “Il S.re Card. Ottoboni ha fatto propriare la recita della seconda commedia in musica nel suo teatreo de pupazzi.” 39  BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol. 30, March 24, 1694; April 11, 1694. 40  BAV, Comp. Ottob., vol. 57, January 25 and March 12, 1707; vol. 76, July 16, 1707.

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