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Baldassare Peruzzi (7 March 1481—6 January 1537)
Peruzzi was an architect and painter, born in a small town near Siena and
died at Rome. He derived much benefit from the years of apprenticeship
beginning in 1520 under Bramante, Raphael, and Sangallo during the erection
of St. Peter's. He returned to his native Siena after the Sack of Rome
(1527) where he was employed as architect to the Republic. For the Sienese
he built new fortifications for the city and designed (though did not build)
a remarkable dam on the Bruna River near Giuncarico. He seems to have moved
back to Rome by 1535.
He was a painter of frescoes in the Cappella San Giovanni in the Duomo of Siena.
Design and Decoration of Villa Farnesina
Almost all art critics ascribe also to him the design of the originally Villa Chigi, now Villa Farnesina. In this villa, two wings branch off from a central hall with a simple arrangement of pilasters, and a decorative frieze on the exterior of the building . The frescoed paintings which adorn the interior rooms are for the most part by Peruzzi. The decoration of the façade, the work of Peruzzi, has almost entirely vanished. To decorate this villa on the Tiber many artists were employed, and just as the style of the villa in no wise recalls the old castellated type of country-house, so the paintings in harmony with the pleasure-loving spirits of the time were thoroughly antique and uninspired by Christian ideas. Raphael designed the composition of the story of Amor and Psyche as a continuation of the Galatea. On a plate-glass vault Peruzzi painted the firmament, with the zodiacal signs, the planets, and other heavenly bodies. The interior room has a striking use of illusionistic perspective 
The close proximity of Raphael's work has overshadowed Peruzzi's work in the ceiling decoration of the Stanza d'Eliodoro in the Vatican. While Raphael may have designed the general plan for the decoration of the hall, it is certain that the tapestry-like frescoes on the ceiling are to be ascribed to Peruzzi. Four scenes represent God's saving omnipotence as shown in the case of Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses. The manifestation of the Lord in the burning bush and the figure of Jehovah commanding Noah to enter the ark were formerly considered works of Raphael.
Peruzzi had produced for the church of S. Croce in Jerusalem a mosaic ceiling, the beautiful keystone of which represented the Saviour. Other paintings ascribed to him are to be found in S. Onofrio and S. Pietro in Montorio. That Peruzzi improved as time went on is evident in his later works, e.g., the "Madonna with Saints" in S. Maria della Pace at Rome, and the fresco of Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl in Fontegiusta at Siena. As our master interested himself in the decorative art also, he exercised a strong influence in this direction, not only by his own decorative paintings but also by furnishing designs for craftsmen of various kinds.
An architectural masterpiece mostly by Peruzzi is the curving facade of the assemblage of the Palazzo Massimo alle Colonne (1535), on a now busy Roman street.
Upon his death, Peruzzi was interred in the Pantheon.
|The Catholic Encyclopedia:Baldassare Peruzzi|