Roman Villa With Caravaggio Mural Fails to Attract a Single Bidder at Auction

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What is being claimed as the most expensive house in the world — a Roman villa with a ceiling mural, only known by the Baroque painter Michelangelo Melissida Caravaggio at a price of € 471 million (US $ 534.3 million). We couldn’t find any buyers or even bidders at the auction on Tuesday.

The auction processed by the Italian government had zero bids, confirmed by Camilo Verde, the court representative of the sale. According to the list, the minimum bid was € 353.25 million and the minimum bid was € 1 million.

“The next event will be on April 7th at 2:00 pm. [in Rome]The base auction price is € 376.8 million and the minimum bid is € 282.6 million, “Verde said in an email. At least € 1 million has not changed to raise bids.


Even if a home known as Villa Aurora or Casino Della Aurora is sold at a price close to the new price, it can still be a record sale. The most expensive publicly recorded sale is now 51,000 square feet of Hong Kong homes, according to Christie’s International Real Estate, which has tracked the sale of homes sold for over $ 100 million since 2006. It sold for $ 361 million in 2017.

Over 30,000 square feet, Mansion Global reported in October that the villa was the last existing building of a 16th-century country hideaway. According to the list of the Italian government, it is located “between one of the most elegant areas of the capital, Vittorio Veneto, Porta Pinchana and Villa Borghese”. The list does not specify the number of rooms or other facilities that the house is proud of.

Caravaggio’s murals are stucco oil paintings from around 1597 or 1598, depicting the Roman gods Yupiteru, Neptune and Pluto. Approximately 10 feet long and 6 feet wide, it shows Jupiter riding an eagle while Neptune is riding a seahorse. According to Andrew Graham-Dixon’s 2011 book, Caravaggio: A Life Sacred And Profane, naked Pluto and the celestial sphere complete the painting.

Aerial view of the villa.

Google map

According to a 2010 New York Times article, the mural was covered during an unfortunate renovation of the house, but was rediscovered in 1968 when the paint was stripped off and a face resembling an artist appeared on the ceiling. rice field. When it was discovered, they discovered not only the mural paintings, but also that Caravaggio used himself as a model for the faces of the three gods.

In addition to Caravaggio, there are nine ceilings created by the artists of the time. Among them is Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, also known as Guercino. The villa is named after his fresco “Aurora”. This shows the Roman goddess throwing flowers from a tank as the sun rises.


According to a New York Times article, the house’s artwork also includes statues dating back to 500 BC, with a “modest” estimate of € 670 million in 2010.

Princess Rita Boncompani Ludvisio, formerly known as Rita Jenrette, now owns the property. She and her deceased husband, Prince Nicolo Boncompani Ludvisio, died in 2018 at the age of 77, with their family owning property for centuries. After marriage, he oversaw the restoration of US $ 10 million in property, primarily to restore art. , According to the New York Times. She couldn’t comment.

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