Seventeenth-century Graffiti Writers at Palazzo Farnese
Back in the seventeenth and eighteenth century there were 'writers' too, even if that's not what they were called. During a recent restoration of the Carracci Gallery at Palazzo Farnese in Rome, home to the French Embassy, on the walls were discovered around ninety drawings and inscriptions by what we might define 'ante-litteram graffiti writers'.
The graffiti of Palazzo Farnese
The nature of these drawings or incisions is rather varied: from simple signatures to more complex works. Some undeniably of value, and already being studied to produce an ad hoc publication. Portraits, caricatures, sketches, projects fixed indelibly on the walls of a noble Roman mansion. At times they are even reproductions of the gallery's frescoes, which are among the most important pictorial cycles of any period. And here it becomes clear that there were writers of different ability in a demonstration of their burning desire to get down to work, without compunction.
Among the writers' works at Palazzo Farnese ones that stand out are the images created by Pier Leone Ghezzi, a famous caricaturist at the time, whose work has been recognized thanks to his particular stroke, as well as painters of the calibre of the Prix de Rome winner, Frenchman Jean-Hugues Taraval. The works were discovered by scholars carrying out conservative restoration, made necessary by deterioration caused by the passing of the centuries.