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Aeneas Fleeing from Troy


Lorenzo de Ferrari (Genoa, 1680–1744)
South wall – The Repose of Hercules (image); Venus Presenting Arms to Aeneas
East wall – Aeneas Fleeing from Troy with Anchises and Ascanius
West wall – The Abduction of Helen

fresco,c. 1734
The Gallery of The Chapel

The wall frescoes appear to have been conceived by the artist in continuity with the Gallery of Mirrors and present images of such virtuoso skill that they appear to take concrete shape before the viewer’s eyes. The 18th-century Genoese historian Carlo Giuseppe Ratti thus wrote of “putti and sphinxes that deceive so wonderfully that they almost seem to be detached from the wall”. The series of figures and myths drawn from the classical repertoire also shows the influence of contemporary figurative models, as in the case of Aeneas Fleeing from Troy with Anchises and Ascanius for which the artist drew upon the Aeneas Fleeing from Troy by Federico Barocci now in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. The series of frescoes may have been painted immediately after Lorenzo de Ferrari’s trip to Rome in 1734. In accordance with the compositional framework, the four monochromatic trompe-l’oeil works are divided into two pairs. One consists of the scenes with Hercules and Venus, conceived as two monumental cameos, two sculptural medallions created in fresco in shades of green, set in voluminous projecting frames of gilded stucco, and supported by sphinxes, partly painted and partly moulded in stucco. The other consists of the Abduction of Helen and Aeneas Fleeing from Troy with Anchises and Ascanius, conceived by the artist as sculptural groups standing in deep, ancient-style niches that virtually pierce space.

  • Lorenzo de Ferrari
  • 1734 circa
  • affresco
  • Galleria della Cappella