Painter and author Marianna Candidi Dionigi was born 3 February 1756 in Rome. From a young age, Marianna cultivated many interests: music, art, architecture and writing. She also dedicated herself to the study of language; Classical Greek and Latin, as well as both French and English. Marianna’s interest in classical antiquity is reflected in her artwork, which is predominantly neoclassical in style, and by the frequent presence of ruins and archaeological sites in her landscapes.
Marianna also published a collection of engravings and writings based on her time in Lazio, titled Viaggi in alcune città del Lazio che diconsi fondate dal Re Saturno [Travels in some cities in Lazio, that claim as their founder the godking Saturn]. It concerns five cities–Alatri, Anagni, Arpino, Atina and Ferentino–that during the 18th century were grouped together archaeologically based on the myth that they were founded by Saturn during the Golden Age. The cities do have megalithic era walls, built of polygonal stone in common, and it is onto these ancient walls that the five cities were built in the Middle Ages.
Sergio Rinaldi Tufi, «CANDIDI, Marianna» in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Volume 17, Roma, Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana, 1974.
Panorama, engraving, 1809, collection of Remo Costantini, Alatri.
Entrance to the Acropolis, engraving, 1809, collection of Remo Costantini, Alatri.
Entrance to the Most Ancient City of Ferentino, engraving, 1809.
Title page, Viaggi in alcune città del Lazio che diconsi fondate dal Re Saturno, Rome, 1809
(Self?) Portrait of Marianna Candidi Dionigi, oil on canvas (reproduction), Museo Napoleonico, Rome.