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This is the seventh programme in the Third Level Arts Course, "Art in Italy 1430-1580". In it, Dr. Erica Langmuir, lecturer in Art History at Sussex University, looks at the magnificent v...illa built by the architect Vignola for the Farnese family at Caprarola. The Farnese palace is the last of the great Mannerist ensembles. Despite being the work of many artists, it is a particularly coherent monument largely due to its architect, Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola and to the guiding will of its patron Cardinal Alessandro Farnese; Caprarola lends itself well to study on film because the entire monument is organized to provide the visitor with an experience analogous that of a festival entry, that is, a procession, celebrating the patron's authority and status. The interaction of the palace with its environment, of the decoration with the architecture, and of the different parts of the building with each other and with the whole can thus only be apprehended through moving, as opposed to still, pictures.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A352, Art in Italy 1480-1580
Item code: A352; 07
First transmission date: 18-07-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: Edward Hayward
Contributor: Erika Langmuir
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Palazzo Farnese; Renaissance architecture
Footage description: The programme opens with shots of the facade of the Palazzo Farnese, at Caprarola, north of Rome. Langmuir briefly explains how it came to be built. Over an animated plan of the building she comments on its regularity. Shots of the main street of the village of Caprarola over which she describes alterations that were made to provide an approach to the palazzo. Film of the tradesmen's entrance to the palazzo which is briefly described in voice-over. Shots of the facade over which Langmuir comments on the design and use of different classical orders. Shots of the moat, then of the interior of the lower carriage entrance. This passageway is described in some detail. The main entrance is shown, then the interior of the guard room. Langmuir describes some of its decorations. Film of the scala-regia, the main staircase. The overall structure of the staircase and numerous decorations are examined in some detail. Langmuir explains all sorts of details of these decorations. Shots taken from the balcony overlooking the cortile, or courtyard. Langmuir explains a few aspects of the design of this courtyard and its balcony. The position of the loggia of Hercules is on the plan of the palazzo. The interior of room is seen, then the view from the loggia over Caprarola. Langmuir then explains the mythological scenes that decorate the loggia of Hercules. The chapel is shown on the plan of palazzo and its interior briefly described. Fuller treatment is given to the adjoining room, the Fasti Farnesiani. Langmuir explains the subjects of several of the paintings in this room. The Sala del Conciglio is shown on the plan, then examined. Langmuir's comtentary deals with the paintings in the room. The private apartments are indicated on the animated plan of the palazzo. Shots of the bedroom decoration over which Langmuir explains the significance of the mythological figures. Shots of rooms in the winter apartments, then of the map room. Langmuir provides commentary throughout. Finally, details from throughout the palazzo are shown, over which Langmuir talks about the architectural and artistic merit of the whole building. She maintains that it is a monument to Mannerism.
Master spool number: FOUA036W
Production number: FOUA036W
Videofinder number: 826
Available to public: no