Villa Madama

A history of the Villa Madama

Villa Madama by Raphael

Raphael (c.1540s)
Copyright: RIBA Library Drawings Collection


The Villa Madama, located just outside Rome, was designed by Raphael around 1518; one of his drawings for the villa is shown above. Built on the banks of the Tiber on the slopes of Monte Mario, it was initially commissioned by Cardinal Guilio de Medici, who later became Pope Clement VII. The name Madama comes from a later occupant, Margaret of Parma.

After Raphael's death in 1520 the design and construction was supervised by Antonio de Sangallo the Younger, a pupil of Bramante and Raphael. Decoration for the villa was provided by Guilio Romano, Baldassare Peruzzi and Giovanni da Udine, leading architects and artists of the day. Construction was eventually ceased around 1525.

Palladio studied the villa in detail, and produced a plan of it on one of his trips to Rome. It influenced his design for the Redentore in Venice, as can be seen in drawings XIV/13 and XIV/16, and his designs for the façade of San Petronio in Bologna. 

View drawing XIV/13 on RIBApix|

View drawing XIV/16 on RIBApix|