From 1882, all of the 17th century buildings that lie between Via del Corso, Via Minghetti and Via delle Vergini underwent major restructuring. The work was carried out by Giulio De Angelis, the most individual and active of the Rome architects of the time, on behalf of Prince Maffeo Sciarra.
One of the features of the complex is Galleria Sciarra, an arcade located in the courtyard that joins Via Minghetti with the small Piazza dell’Oratorio. The arcade is an iron and glass structure accessed from corridors punctuated by cast iron columns. The central part was painted between 1885 and 1888 by Giuseppe Cellini using the encaustic painting technique which involves pigments mixed with Punic wax. The decoration was elevated by an iconographic project designed by literary critic Giulio Salvadori, expressed with Art Nouveau motifs combined with Etruscan and Ancient Roman echoes.
The dominant theme is the celebration of women as angels of the hearth, wife and mother in the bourgeois vision of post-Italian unification society. In the top part appear Modesty, Sobriety, Strength, Humility, Prudence and Patience while on the opposite side are Benign, Lady, Lovable, Faithful and Merciful. In the lower section are on one side, Tending the Garden, Conversation, Lunch at Home, Musical Entertainment and Exhortation to Charity, and on the other The Courteous Conversation, Vanity, Marriage and Care of Children.
Closed Monday and 25 December
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