LOCANDA MARTORELLI (THE MARTORELLI INN) Piazza di Corte 5, Ariccia.
In the Public square
of the little of town of Ariccia stands the Martorelli Inn which is famous
above all for its paintings on the walls which were painted between 1770 and
the 1771 by the Polish painter Taddeusz Kuntze and used to be the most
important stop of the Great Tour d' Italie.
These paintings are of
great interest for the history of Ariccia and also the surrounding countryside
in as much as they illustrate the origins and the past mythology of the
country, the myth of Ippolito, and that of Diana Aricina and the fight between
the Latins and the Romans. In the 1820 the mansion was transformed by Antonio
Martorelli into an inn which was frequented until at about 1880 by poets,
writers and painters.
In a room on the third
floor the artists had filled it up the walls with caricatures and fantastic
designs, which were subsequently covered over by common wallpapers but which
were recently found again.
therefore assumes, a particular importance which is remarkable for this region
called the Castelli Romani or 'Castles of Rome'. It is a legacy to the memory
of great artists who passed through this country, during periods of study and
holiday and that they disseminated, through their works, the images of the
Castelli Romani all over Europe. They included Corot, Turner, Ibsen,
Longfellow, Gogol, H.C. Andersen, Stankiewicz, A Mickiewicz, Costa and many
others. The Martorelli Inn has been acquired by the Commune (municipality) of
Ariccia in 1998 and is now used for exhibitions and shows of contemporary art.
Following a long
period of neglect that has rendered the job of restoration that much
difficult... but which, beyond allowing the indispensable work of restoration
has allowed for the return to its original ancient splendour the mural
paintings and the other works left in trust by the Polish painter Taddeusz
Kuntze, thus they have revealed again the precious artistic testimonies that
were believed by now to be lost for ever.
Under four layers of
paint, the restorers have found decorations and paintings - Numa Pompilio and
the Egeria Nymphia. It was thus possible to recover the decorations of the
originals by Kuntze. Further, the plasterwork and building structure was also
fixed. Other decorations have
been brought back to the light from the restoration of the doors and the
fixings, which were hidden in the time by various layers of paint. The
restoration also allowed for the recovery and preservation of the famous
paintings that were degraded from the lack of maintenance and the severe
cracks provoked by seismic activity and the tremors caused by heavy traffic on
the Via Appia nearby.