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Tarquinius Priscus founds the Temple of Jupiter on the Campidoglio

Author
Pietro Bonaccorsi, known as Perin del Vaga (Florence, 1501 - Rome, 1547) 
Date
1521
Technique
Detached fresco transferred to canvas
Size
132 x 158 cm
Inventory
1890 no. 5907

The detached fresco fragment illustrates an episode from ancient Roman history, related by Livy. King Tarquinius Priscus, who is standing on the left, observes an architect, bent to draw on the ground the foundations of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. In the background, an animated crowd watches the event, also celebrated by musicians playing trumpets standing on the base of the columns. The crowded, lively composition with its focus on the foreground, also includes a view of ancient Rome in the background, and is closely influenced by Raphael's style in the Vatican Rooms, in particular in the Room of Heliodorus and in the one of the Fire of Borgo, and in the preparatory sketches for the tapestries in the Sistine Chapel. Perino had played an active role in these projects, for which he stood out as one of Raphael’s most gifted pupils. This painting, with the Justice of Zaleucus, is part of a cycle painted by Perino, together with Polidoro da Caravaggio, who decorated some of the first floor of Palazzo Baldassini in Rome, the first civic building designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, between 1516 and c. 1519. The decoration was commissioned by Melchiorre Baldassini, illustrious papal jurist, consistorial lawyer, advocate for the poors, and contributor to the new Regulae of the Apostolic Chancery.