XIX c. Frescoes and decorative painting in SACI’s Palazzo dei Cartelloni

Wall fresco in SACI's Faculty Lounge, Palazzo dei Cartelloni. Photo ©Cristian Ceccanti.

Wall fresco in SACI’s Faculty Lounge, Palazzo dei Cartelloni. Photo ©Cristian Ceccanti.

Façade of SACI's Palazzo dei Cartelloni with view of ceiling fresco and bust of GalileoThe Palazzo dei Cartelloni, SACI’s main building, is a 29,000 square foot palazzo dedicated to Galileo, located at Via Sant’Antonino 11 in Florence, Italy. It has a beautiful gallery/exhibition space, classrooms, a library, offices, an art conservation laboratory, media facilities and art studios surrounding a large, traditional Italian garden. The spacious and light-filled interiors, have been restored to their original Baroque magnificence, with painted ceilings, frescoed walls and marble floors.

Just some of the examples of ceilings found around the the Palazzo dei Cartelloni include a beautiful crowned family crest held by three angels in the upstairs corridor, decorative details in the student lounge, a garden pergola in the reading room, and more floral details in the printmaking studio.

SACI's Faculty Lounge, Palazzo dei CartelloniThe rooms inside the palace have been renovated several times throughout the centuries. Some of them have wonderful coffered ceilings in wood, probably dating to the 19th century, as well as beautiful frescoes and painted decorations by Florentine painters of the 1800s. These frescoes display typical themes of the era, such as romantic landscapes, grotesques and rustic scenes. A trompe-l’œil fresco covers an entire room, giving the optical illusion of a pergola, with an olive tree in the distance (above).

Fasto Privato, La decorazione murale di palazzi e ville di famiglie private Dal Tardo Barocco al Romanticismo (EDIFIR - EDIZIONI FIRENZE, edited by Mina Gregori, Mara Visonà, 2015, 416 p.)In the faculty lounge, the entire room, including a hidden doorway and the ceiling, was painted in the early XIXth century. This room has recently been featured in the publication, Fasto Privato. La decorazione murale di palazzi e ville di famiglie private Dal Tardo Barocco al Romanticismo (EDIFIR – Edizioni Firenze, edited by Mina Gregori and Mara Visonà2015, 416 p.) with photographs by ©Cristian Ceccanti. 

Below are details of the ceiling in the same room, with stylistic and elegant grotesque details with elegant figures, curious faces, and angels.

Read more about Palazzo dei Cartelloni, aka Palazzo Viviani: What does SACI’s Palazzo dei Cartelloni have to do with Galileo and the Mona Lisa? Part I, Part II, and Part III and the History of SACI’s Facilities.

Did you know SACI has a course in Fresco Painting?

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About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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