The original precints of the villa included a huge plot of land where the Marquis could hunt or ride his horses, and vineyards.
What remains now is the tiny casino, the laid-back residence of the Marquis, mostly dedicated to the collection of his antiquities.
By looking at the building, you can still spot the decorative insertions of ancient Roman sarcophagi, a trend at the time.
He was the one who invited the Nazarenes in there with the request to fresco the three little rooms on the ground floor, tasks that the guys took care of in the span of ten years, from 1819 to 1829.
The Room of Tasso (dedicated to "Jerusalem Delivered") was the work of Friedrich Overbeck, the charismatic leader of the movement; he took care of the most of the frescoes of the place, but abandoned the project on 1827 after the death of Carlo because he disapproved the "profanity" of the Massimo family, far from his religious inspiration.
The Room of Ariosto" (dedicated to "Orlando Furioso") was token care by Julius Schnorr Von Carosfeld.
Last but not least, the third room, dedicated to Dante, was worked on by Philipp Veit, who took care of the "Paradise" on the ceiling, Franz Horny, who frescoed the decorative vegetations, and Joseph Anton Koch, who took care of the "Hell" and "Purgatory".
As Overbeck left once Carlo Massimo was dead to head for a trip to Assisi, the rest of the frescoes would be finished by Joseph Führich, a newbie in the group, from 1827 to 1828.
The Nazarene Movement had a short history: on 1830 it was disbanded as Overbeck was the only member left. He died in Rome on 1869. His tomb can be found in the church of San Bernardo alle Terme
The group took their inspiration from the masters of the past, and despite the attempt to copy colours, poses and mood, you can't help but notice the "modernity" behind a certain touch...