Roaming Rome

Villa Medici - 1584

Design for the interior decoration of the large hall, Villa Medici, Rome

Design for the interior decoration of the sculpture gallery, Villa Medici, Pincian Hill, 1584
Artist: Jacopo Zucchi
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections 


In a series of four drawings, Renaissance architect Jacopo Zucchi shows the interior hall of the Villa Medici in Rome. Zucchi used these drawings to explain to his patron ideas for an intricately decorated and symbolically rich interior. The design here includes, from left to right: Mercury, the god of commerce and trade, Emperor Titus and Venus, the goddess of Love. These figures would have showcased the link between the patron and the values that he held.

Zucchi's drawing technique reflects the limited resources and few tools that architects had in the 16th century. After Zucchi quickly sketched the elements of the room, he employed an ink wash on parts of the walls. His delicate use of shadow gives the flat image a sense of spatial depth.


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