63 Pages

The Palaces

ByChristian Elling

"The magnificence of the great consists mainly in having grandiose palaces, many pages, lackeys, horses and carriages," explains Lalande. The Borgheses' palace for their underlings is far and away the genre's proudest representative from the Baroque Period, an impressive cube facing the side elevation of the residence and equally as long. In 1777 the elegant French civil servant Roland de la Platiere established himself in a couple of rooms overlooking the street in the domestic wing of the Duke of Bracciano's palace. The palace is after all a dwelling; its builder is a human being, a person for whom the historical view of long-gone ages and dead heroes is just as indispensable for guidance as keeping an eye on rival houses. In the Via in Arcione, that ever cheerful street dotted with provision shops, which runs its crooked course to Fontana diTrevi, there is a palace suffering from present conditions.