Project of the triumphal arch erected on the Campo Vaccino for the election of Clement IX Rospigliosi
Pen, brown ink and brown and gray ink wash. Incised for transfer on copper.
505 x 370 mm
On the back of the old montage, pen inscription: "Fontana - 4 = N ° .251 ="
The Rainald leaf is a document of the highest interest for the knowledge of the elaboration of ephemeral decors by Carlo Rainaldi (1611-1691) who, in 1644, as "Architect Insigne", started with his father Girolamo ( 1570-1655) during the design of the decor for the election of Innocent X Pamphilij.
The drawing presenting the project for the realization of the triumphal arch erected on the "Campo Vaccino" during Clement IX Rospigliosi's "possesso" takeover on July 3, 1667 is the only image that has come to us from the famous decoration, which was known until now only by its literary description reported in the two ancient memoirs of the Pope's Cavalcata: Il Trionfal Possesso preso dalla Santita di NS Papa Clemente Nono and the Compita Relatione del estuoso apparato, both published in Rome in 1667.
The sheet thus represents a valuable copy allowing a deeper knowledge of the Possesso of Clement IX from which we had the only procession illustrated by Louis Rouhier in a print kept at the Museo di Roma (Fig. 1). The etching from Gian Giacomo De' Rossi's famous "alla Pace" prints shows the route taken by the pontiff, who from St. Peter's Square, rallying to Castel Sant'Angelo, reached Piazza del Campidoglio. through the Forums arrived at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Rainaldi's "miniaturized" triumphal arch, depicted on the sidelines as well as the few other architectures enamelling the route (the colonnade of St. Peter, the Vatican Basilica , The large senatorial staircase and the Campidoglio, the Colosseum, the Lateran Palace). As it appears in the engraving, Rainaldi's planned arc was the only one planned during the papal procession, thus respecting the moderation reintroduced in Rome by Pope Alexander VII Chigi (r.155-1667) who, in the footsteps of Sixte V (1585-1590) had forbidden any triumphant character of the event.
In addition, the annotation on the back of the old set of our sheet "Fontana-4 = n. 251 "is also worthy of note as it testifies its probable provenance from the studio of the architect Carlo Fontana (1638-1714) to Trajan's column which possessed, besides his own projects, many other drawings architecture.
Renowned theater architect, attentive to the work of Rainaldi, it is not by chance that Fontana, commissioned in 1701 to project the Arc de Triomphe for Possesso by Clement XI Albani, used a drawing by Carlo Rainaldi ( Berlin, Staatlische Museeen zu Berlin, Kunstbibliothek, Hdz 1150).
The precious leaf allows us to understand in detail the two relations included in the Trionfal Possesso and in the Comita Relatione which carefully describe the triumphal arch erected for the passage of Pope Rospigliosi, thanks to the munificence of the Duke of Parma Ranuccio II Farnese (1630-1694).
Carlo Rainaldi's enhanced experience in creating ephemeral sets and his fame as an architect of the "Roman People" and Farnese earned Rainaldi the command of the bow built "to serve the glories of NS, order de AS had the illustrious Sieur Giulio Platoni Auditor, and Minister of AS in the short time of four days, thanks to the value and diligence of Cavalier Rainaldi, architect of this serene family ".
For his project Rainaldi simulates a real scenography, articulated in a sequence of Corinthian columns and pilasters placed on opposite bases which are alternated empty frames and those decorated with the sheep capitoline. On the sides of the tympanum, with a broken pediment, are represented the virtues of the pontiff, Clemency, Charity, Religion and Prudence. At the top, two angels support the arms Rospigliosi crowned papal tiara and keys of St. Peter while on the cornice two angels celebrate the new pontiff.
The setting imagined by Rainaldi for the Possesso of Pope Rospigliosi, wanted and financially supported by the Duke of Parma, was a huge success, providing Rainaldi with the supervision of the future triumphal arches erected for the possessions of Pope Clement X Altieri (1670) and Alexander VIII Ottoboni (1689). Admired by the Roman people and by the nobility, the bow of Clement IX also had to impress foreign artists and travelers; among them the Dutchman Abraham de Wicquefort (1606 -1682) who, in 1667, year of the election of Clement IX, wrote in his memoirs as "What is most essential in Rome are ceremonies in some way we want it pre