Villa in Rome with Caravaggio

Villa Aurora is set to go under the hammer on Tuesday.

Casino di Villa Boncompagni Ludovisi in Rome, which features the world’s only ceiling fresco by Caravaggio. It opened for auction on January 18 with an estimated value of 471 million euros.

The “auction of the century” has been dubbed the “auction of the century”. With a minimum bid of €353 million, this historic villa is one of the most expensive houses ever on the market.

The 2,800 square meter residence known as Villa Aurora is hidden behind a high wall near Via Veneto.

The noble Ludovisi family has owned since 1621, whose descendants include Pope Gregory XIII – who introduced the Gregorian calendar – and Gregory XV.


The 2018 death of Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi, the villa’s last owner. causing a protracted legacy battle.

The dispute arose between the prince’s three sons from his first marriage and his third wife, American-born Princess Rita Boncompani Ludovici, 72, who spent most of his time. Over the past two decades to renovate the property with her late husband.

The court decided to auction the 11-bedroom villa worth around €471 million, mostly from Caravaggio’s murals.

Anyone who purchases a property that is protected under the Italian Cultural Heritage Law. An additional €11 million will be required for reconstruction costs.


An online petition signed by about 38,000 people so far. It is calling on the government to use Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), largely funded by the European Union, to buy Casino dell’Aurora.

italian newspaper republic Culture Minister Dario Franceschini reportedly wrote to Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Finance Minister Daniele Franco asking about the possibility of a state bid.

under Italian law The government has a 60-day time frame to exercise its initial refusal right after a deal to sell to private investors, Bloomberg reported.

Villa Ludovisi

Villa Aurora was built in 1570 by Cardinal Ludovico Ludovisi, grandson of Pope Gregory XV, purchased in 1621 and originally used as the family’s hunting lodge.

The residence, which expanded in 1858, is the only remnant of Villa Ludovisi, a 30-hectare rural retreat founded by Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte.

In the late 19th century, most of the land was sold out by the Ludovisi family during Rome’s booming construction period. which led to the creation of the swanky ‘Ludovisi’ district.


Many of the villa’s rooms are decorated with frescoes by Italian baroque painter Guercino, including one in the main reception hall of the Roman goddess Aurora, from which the building was named.

The villa also houses the work of Bril, Domenichino, Pomaraancio and Viola; a staircase by architect Carlo Maderno, who designed the facade of St Peter’s; and a stellar collection of ancient statues. including a statue with Michelangelo


However, the villa’s most valuable cultural asset is Caravaggio’s mural featuring Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, the only ceiling painting known to the Baroque master.

Valued at more than 310 million euros, the frescoes date to 1597 and were commissioned by Cardinal del Monte, diplomat and art benefactor.

Discovered in 1968, the frescoes are painted in oil on plaster and feature allegorical scenes reflecting the cardinal’s passion for alchemy.

Jupiter, along with the eagle, represents sulfur and air. Neptune with hippocampus represents mercury and water. and Pluto and the three-headed dog Cerberus represent salt and soil.

Caravaggio’s ceiling painting

in the mural Image of Jupiter reaching out to move the celestial sphere through which the Sun orbits the Earth.

The specimen measures 2.75 meters wide and can be found on the first floor in a small room that serves as the Cardinal’s Alchemy Laboratory.

long history

The villa has a particularly long history. The mansion was once part of Horti Sallustiani, a stately Romanesque mansion with landscaped gardens on a plot originally owned by Julius Caesar.

over the centuries This villa has many famous people. From Galileo to Goethe and is an important destination for visitors to the Grand Tour.

in his 1909 memoirs italian hourHenry James admired the villa’s rooms and sweeping rooftop views of Rome.

The ‘Auction of the Century’ is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 18 at 3 PM.

Studio Fori’s cover photo.

Leave a Comment