The Palazzo Muti is a large townhouse in the Piazza dei Santi Apostoli
, built in 1644. Together with the neighboring Palazzo Muti Papazzurri
, it originally formed part of a complex of adjoining palazzi and other houses owned by the Muti Papazzurri family. During the 18th century this entire range of buildings was, by courtesy of the Pope, the residence of the exiled Stuart dynasty while in exile in Rome. They were recognised by the Catholic Church as the rightful kings of England
. The Palazzo Muti should not be confused with the Palazzo Muti Papazzurri in the Piazza della Pilotta which was designed by Mattia de' Rossi in 1660.
The Palazzo Muti stands on a street corner, and is constructed on four floors. The architect was Mattia de Rossi who had been commissioned to build a residence for Giovanni Battista Muti Papazzurri, a member of one of Rome's patrician families. The principal facade, today painted ochre and decorated only by quoining is of just three bays, with the main entrance to the palazzo, leading to an inner courtyard, at the centre on the ground floor.
The size of the courtyard, dictated by the narrow rectangular dimensions of the palazzo is in reality little more than an open lightwell. The entrance itself is flanked by ionic columns, once surmounted by a Baroque pediment, this has since been replaced by a balcony. The architrave of the entrance has engraved upon it the name "Balestra", a family who once owned the palazzo.
The top floor is concealed from sight by a broad cornice. The top floor is architecturally interesting, although hidden from sight at street level its three windows are divided by double pilasters. That such an architectural feature should be hidden insinuates that the whole facade may at one stage in its history been of a more ornate design than is apparent today. An 18th century drawing of the building (left) shows the top floor was originally lower and decorated in the Baroque style with statuary.