15. Cultural events

News is given below, in chronological order, of cultural events (exhibitions, congresses, etc.) which in some way relate to persons and events connected with the history of the Villa Aldobrandini.


Gianlorenzo Bernini. Regista del Barocco.
Rome, Palazzo Venezia
21 May - 16 September 1999
This exhibitions concludes the celebration of the IVth centennial of the birth of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the great artist - spirit and creator of Baroque Rome.

The more than 200 works of art in the fields of sculpture, painting, architecture and urban planning on display in Palazzo Venezia are tangible proof of the globality of his art. Rome's tribute to the great artist who made Rome a veritable open air museum of baroque art.

G.B. Bernini, Bust of Francesco I d'Este
Galleria Estense, Modena

Among the works exhibited, in addition to the spectacular series of busts, are also the statues representing the Four Seasons which were sculpted by Gian Lorenzo and his father Pietro. According to some art historians these four statues at one time decorated the garden of the Villa Aldobrandini in Rome. They are at present in the Villa Belvedere Aldobrandini in Frascati.

G.B. Bernini, The Four Seasons
Villa Belvedere Aldobrandini, Frascati

The richly illustrated catalogue of the exhibition, prepared by M.G. Bernardini and M.Fagiolo dell'Arco, has been published by Skira (1999).

Beatrice Cenci. La storia, il mito.
Roma, Fondazione Marco Besso
Largo di Torre Argentina, 11
00186 Rome
4 November - 20 December 1999

On 11 September 1599, during the papacy of Clemente VIII (Aldobrandini), Beatrice Cenci, a young, beautiful member of the Roman nobility, was executed by decapitation in front of Castel Sant'Angelo, on the left side of the Tiber, having been accused of instigating the assassination of her father Francesco, a wealthy powerful man known to all Romans for his vice and tyrannical acts.

Sentenced to death by decapitation, notwithstanding the passionate defence of the jurisconsult Prospero Farinacci, Beatrice was the victim of a spectacular execution. The populace however considered her a martyr worthy of veneration. Following the execution, her body was bourne in procession, accompanied by a mourning crowd, to the church of S. Pietro in Montorio where she was buried, covered in roses, beneath the main altar, her head placed beside her body on a plate of silver in tribute to the victim of the oppression of the powerful.

Four centuries after the death of Beatrice, the Marco Besso Foundation has organized, in its headquarters in Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome, an exhibition of documents and objects relating to the vicissitudes of the unfortunate young woman, proposing a systematic and philologically viable re-reading of the surviving evidence.

Portrait of the Jurisconsult Prospero Farinacci by Giuseppe Cesari (Cavalier d'Arpino) (Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome) and the authentic copy of the proceedings of the Cenci trial (Apografo Maccarani, 1599, Archivio Storico Capitolino, Rome)

The very interesting catalogue of the exhibition "Beatrice Cenci. La storia, il mito", prepared by M. Bevilacqua and E. Mori (Editore Viella, Rome, 1999), provides not only a detailed report on the facts of the case, but also an extremely vivid picture of some aspects of Roman life at that time.

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