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JR in Rome

Perspective games


© Cortesía de JR

Ever since the day he came across a camera in the Paris metropolitan raiway, JR – pseudonym of the street artist Jean René – has taken photographs in black and white and enlarged them to stick on walls of buildings for all to see, in a quest to make streets “the biggest art gallery in the world.” Now, far from these ‘underground’ beginnings, the French Embassy in Rome has commissioned him with an intervention on the facade of its historical site, the Palazzo Farnese, to remain while the job of restoring the building lasts.

A canvas stretched on a frame superposed on the wall depicts a huge crack, giving the impression that the facade is violently torn up, exposing the gallery designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and the palatial halls of the piano nobile, where Michelangelo, Vignola, and Giacomo della Porta also worked. With the semblance of an 18th-century engraving, the trompe-l’œil also pays tribute to The Loves of the Gods, the spectacular fresco cycle that Annibale Caracci painted di sotto in sù in the central gallery of the Farnese.

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