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room gets hot in the summer and the wealthy would build villas that is country houses just outside the city's walls we're in one of those retreats the villa farness Sina and we've walked through a lovely garden we're in this long room that's open to the river and lets the breezes flow through cooling the hot summer air in Rome framing the windows are decorative frescoes and scenes of Italianate landscapes and on the ceiling frescoes that tell us in astrological symbols the birth date of the patron whose name is chichi is a wealthy banker who managed the financial affairs of the papacy of Pope Julius ii who is just north building a new st. Peter's I'm not sure that I would use the word wealthy for cheeky I think fabulously wealthy would be more appropriate the most famous painting in the villa is by Raphael Galatea gadre was a sea nymph and she was chased in the scene by Polyphemus the one-eyed giant who makes an appearance in Homer's Odyssey but also in other mythic stories the painting by Raphael it shows his nude who's got this wonderful torsion that shows if Raphael's really superb knowledge of the anatomy of the human body I think of this poses so typically high Renaissance in its complexity we can see this spiral twisting the body also in Michelangelo's slaves from about this time she's riding on a sea shell being pulled by dolphins as if that wasn't enough you have wind whipping to her right so that her hair and the draperies is pushing out almost horizontally to the right whereas her arms are holding the dolphins reins to the left and so there's this wonderful accentuated torsion and I think you see that through the whole composition kind of pulling in one direction then pulling in another if we look at the sea nymphs and sea creatures that surround her they also seem to move out pulling her in different directions well there are these different stresses for instance the nymph in the foreground is trying to move to her left but it's being restrained by that male figure and the figures in the background move in opposing directions for all that movement this is not a baroque painting this is a high Renaissance painting so there is still a sense of clarity and order and in fact the kind of sense of a pyramid Galatea herself is framed by three groups of figures who have the nymphs and the Dolphins on the right you have that angelic figure perhaps Cupid in the foreground the nymphs on the left and then you have three putti at the top each with their bows drawn and looking as if their arrows will be loosed on her it really is movement and spiraling but also simultaneously is stability and balance it's also playfulness look up at the putti again with bows and arrows there's actually a fourth where the quiver who's hiding behind a cloud seemed as if he perhaps is scheming and planning this attack or maybe he's supplying the arrows to the other three Cupid's the figures remind me of Michelangelo and look at how Raphael is accentuating the musculature of Galatea and also the back muscles of those sea creatures there's real interest in physicality and musculature here that's very different from a similar image by Botticelli of The Birth of Venus where we have a female nude rising from the sea and so unlike the Botticelli which is so dependent on line there's a real use of light and shadow of Chios quarto here to really accentuate the musculature of the body and the figures have weight unlike the weightless forms that Botticelli gives them well they also move through space in a way the Botticelli's figures don't because they're so flattened and so decorative look for instance at the large male figure in the lower left and the way his shoulder comes out towards us that's not something that you would see in there's more decorative paintings by Botticelli so I think we shouldn't be taking these paintings too seriously I mean they're a beautiful expression of course the high Renaissance interest in the classical but this is really about pleasure it's about wealth and love and those themes relate to the interests of the patron he has built this lavish villa that he can enjoy and so can we you