Un’architettura di Raffaello per il medico di Leone X: il palazzo di Jacopo da Brescia sulla via Alessandrina
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: 75-76, 2022
Raphael designed this palace – built on Via Alessandrina in Borgo Vaticano between 1515 and 1518 – for Leo X’s papal doctor, Jacopo da Brescia. Demolished to make way for Via della Conciliazione in 1937, in 1940 it was rebuilt a short distance away on the corner of Via Rusticucci and Via dei Corridori by Clemente Busiri Vici for the Presidency of the Collegio di Propaganda Fide. For Raphael, the irregularity of the area inspired a brilliant articulation of the spaces and elevations. At the same time the palace fulfilled the demand for a new residential quality, inspired by ancient architecture and popular amongst the emerging middle class, and was a part of the urban redevelopment of the access to St. Peter’s, together with the other buildings that progressively lined the Borgo, combining the idea of magnificence with the modern needs of functionality and decorum. This essay discusses the architectural features of the building in relation to the Roman tradition and to the contemporary residential architecture of Bramante and his followers, highlighting the innovative character of the building, which has not always been fully understood despite the critical acclaim it has always enjoyed. Adding new testimonies to those already known, the author compares the original building with the reconstruction preserving just two façades that stands at the corner of a new block that has been completely reconfigured, also regarding colour and materials used.