Roman districts

Roman districts

Villa Aldobrandini – a place of respite over the city teeming with life

Piazza Augusto Imperatore – in the service of historical policy

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Piazza Augusto Imperatore – in the service of historical policy

The ruler of Fascist Italy, Benito Mussolini looked at himself as the heir of Roman emperors, but only one was his favorite. This was Octavius Augustus, who was remembered in history as an example of an excellent leader who ensured his subjects peace and prosperity. And thus the grand exhibition, planned for 1938 was devoted to this ruler as a commemoration of his birthday. Many guests were invited (including Hitler, who was also a proponent of Octavius), while the opening of a square (a new Roman forum), surrounded by new, monumental buildings served as an added attraction. At the center of t...

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Giovanni Lanfranco’s Venus Playing the Harp – a tribute to music or perhaps to love?

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Giovanni Lanfranco’s Venus Playing the Harp – a tribute to music or perhaps to love?

Who is the semi-nude woman on the canvas? Is it the allegory of music, or perhaps Venus – the goddess of love, with accompanying, reading the score, amoretti? The scarlet and blue fabrics made of satin covering the woman, and hanging behind her back, seduce the viewer with the soft, wavy, and shiny material. Among these is the woman’s beautiful body, with an enormous harp between her legs. The woman is singing, as her mouth is open, and looks at us in a stubborn manner. Intuitively we feel that this work hides some mystery, an anecdote, or maybe just an intriguing ambiguity. And we...

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Saint Eustochium (368–419) – a virgin through and through

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Saint Eustochium (368–419) – a virgin through and through

The history of the Roman Catholic Church is filled with imaginary virgins of legendary provenances, such as Agnes and Cecilia who are particularly venerated in Rome. Probably nobody (apart from a few early-Christian Church historians) has ever heard of Saint Eustochium. It would be worth pondering why the first in Rome, declared virgin and historically documented ascetic remains completely unknown.

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