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From 1517-1518, Raphael and his workshop painted scenes from the fable of Cupid and Psyche on the vaulted ceiling of the vast loggia for Agostino Chigi, a banker from Siena who originally owned this mansion on the left bank of the Tiber.
The colorful scenes, filled with flora, fauna, and half-clothed divinities, are impressive as a whole. But, as with Michelangelo’s works on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, it is difficult to see the detail that went into the frescoes.
But now, thanks to Rome’s Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and Pisa’s Visual Computing Lab, these loggia paintings are available to view in exquisite, digital detail.
Virtual visitors to the Digital Loggia can zoom in on details that few have seen before. These include the narrative scenes of Cupid, Psyche, and other divinities; more than 50 types of animals; and 170 plant varieties from around the world. Raphael’s student Giovanni da Udine was responsible for painting the animals and the botanical elements.
The Accademia dei Lincei and the Visual Computing Lab began the task of digitizing the art from the loggia in 2017 as part of the exhibition “The Colours of Prosperity: Fruits from the Old and New World.” The institutions continued with their project of digitizing the entirety of the loggia frescoes in the preparation for 2020, the 500th anniversary of the death of Raphael.