Villa Sacchetti at Castelfusano
The Villa Sacchetti at Castelfusano is near Ostia, the port of ancient Rome. It was built between 1624-8 for the Sacchetti family, close associates of Pope Urban VIII, and was the first architectural work of Pietro da Cortona who became the foremost painter of his day and a leading architect in the evolution of Baroque architecture in Rome. The villa is now known as Villa Chigi since its acquisition by the Chigi family in the eighteenth century.
The villa has a generally fortified appearance; it is block-like with corner bastions and has a belvedere terrace at the top; there were occasional attacks by pirates along the coast. The plan layout, recorded in drawings by Pier Leone Ghezzi (circa 1735), is simple and straightforward and lacks the formal inventiveness of Cortona's later architectural work, including the Villa Pigneto del Marchese Sacchetti.
The ground level has a central hall with staircase and was otherwise given over to service rooms. On the third level, there is a gallery spanning the length of the building with frescoes by Cortona and other artists of the time including Andrea Sacchi. There is also a chapel decorated by Cortona.
- Zirpolo Lilian H. 'The Villa Sacchetti at Castelfusano: Pietro da Cortona's earliest architectural commission' Architectura 26, 1996, pp 166-184
- Merz J.M., Pietro da Cortona and Roman Baroque Architecture, 2008, p 11
- Published in Merz, 2008, 11
- See Zirpolo, Lilian H. 'Images of Privilege and Power in Pietro da Cortona's Frescoes at The Villa Sacchetti at Castefusano' Gazette des Beaux-Arts 137, 2001, 115-138 or for a summary, Zirpolo Lilian H. Ave Papa Ave Papabile, the Sachetti Family, their art patronage and political aspirations, 2005, 79-85
- Zirpolo, 2005, 85-92