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Jan Miel, The Courtyard of Palazzo Nardini in Rome
1650 ca.
Material and technique
oil on canvas
cm. 143 x 116
Alessandro Zuccari
The painting depicts in accurate detail the courtyard of this well-known palace in Via del Governo Vecchio in Rome. The building, which is easily identifiable by the loggia with octagonal pillars, was built during the papacy of Paul II (1464-1471) for the Milanese cardinal Stefano Nardini, governor of the city of Rome. Over the centuries it became the permanent residence of the cardinals appointed to that office and gave its name to the street it overlooks. The view from the entrance portico is enlivened by groups of figures, horse and carriages, illustrating a scene of everyday life.
Like all Miel’s works, the painting reveals the strong influence of Pieter van Laer, known as ‘Il Bamboccio’, and his many Roman followers, among which the outstanding Michelangelo Cerquozzi. The themes of horses resting and children at play are typical of the genre painting of this group of artists. The fact that the scene is not set in an imaginary location but in a real place in Rome puts the work firmly in the mature period of the  Bamboccianti painters, around 1655.
The Courtyard of Palazzo Nardini in Rome
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