The Nazarenes at the Casino Massimo Lancellotti

The Nazarenes

The Nazarenes at the Casino Massimo Lancellotti
Dante Ariosto e Tasso in the Frescoes of the Nazarenes

Here’s the profile of this movement.

When: 19th century. We’re in the 1810s.

Where: Rome

Who: A group of German painters converted to Catholicism and moved to Rome from Northern Europe

Home: Convent of Sant’Isidoro al Pincio where they created an artistic brotherhood

Ideal: Bringing the Christian message and values alive through painting; they were inspired by the great artists of the past such as Giotto, Raphael and Michelangelo.

The Nazarenes at the Casino Massimo Lancellotti
The Renaissance
Inspiration of the Nazarenes in Rome

Painting technique: Italian fresco art typical of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance which, having fallen out of use in the 19th century, was taken back up by the Nazarenes movement.

Leaders: Among the leaders of the group are Johann Friedrich Overbach, Philipp Veit and Joseph von Führich

The Nazarenes at the Casino Massimo Lancellotti
Johann Overbach Philipp Veit and Joseph von Führich Nazarenes Artists

Important works in Rome:

– Palazzo Zuccari, residence of the Prussian consul Jacob Salomon Bartholdy

Casino Massimo Lancellotti, where in the three rooms on the ground floor, there is a cycle of frescoes dedicated to Dante, Ludovico Ariosto and Torquato Tasso.

The Nazarenes at the Casino Massimo Lancellotti
Dante Ariosto and Tasso
in the a Frescoes of the Nazarenes

Scenes are from the Divine Comedy, Orlando Furioso and Jerusalem Delivered and were commissioned by Carlo Massimo in 1800.

I visited the Casino Massimo Lancellotti and will share some photos in this article.

In Dante’s Room, several scenes from the Divine Comedy are depicted, on which several artists worked; the drawings are attributed to Peter von Cornelius and the ceiling is attributed to Philipp Veit.

The Nazarenes at the Casino Massimo Lancellotti
The Drawings of Peter von Cornelius at Casino Massimo Lancillotto

Franz Horny painted the floral decorations and Joseph Anton Koch depicted some episodes of Hell in which Dante and Virgil feature. One scene is particularly affecting: Count Ugolino biting Archbishop Ruggieri.

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld worked in the Ariosto room, representing the many characters of Orlando Furioso.

The Nazarenes at the Casino Massimo Lancellotti
The Beautiful Frescoes of the Nazarenes

The Christian knights and paladins fighting against Muslims verge on hyperrealistic. Orlando’s pain and anger are particularly moving, when he sees his beloved Angelica exchanging tender affections with Medoro.

In Tasso’s room with his Jerusalem Delivered, there are frescoes that tell love stories: first, that of Olindo and Sofronia, condemned to be burned at the stake, saved by Clorinda.

The Nazarenes at the Casino Massimo Lancellotti
Philipp Veit e Joseph von Führich
Nazarenes Artists

Then there is that of Tancredi and Clorinda, and their tragic, spectacular duel painted by Johann Friedrich Overbeck. The story is familiar: Clorinda, Ethiopian princess and able leader, finds death at the hands of her beloved.

Their sad fate had it that Clorinda was stabbed to death by her beloved Tancred, who does not recognize her. In one of literature’s most poignant episodes, he baptizes her as she is on the verge of death.

This interesting, informative exhibition leaves a nice impression.