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The rooms of Palazzo Besso

Sala del Consiglio
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Council room

Today's Sala del Consiglio, located in front of the church of the Santissime Stimmate, is also known as the Red Room, due to the color of the fabrics on the walls of the early twentieth century, and even earlier, at the time of Cardinal Paravicini, as the Galleria Nuova.

The Hall is important for the presence of the oldest artistic testimonies of the building: the monumental wooden coffered ceiling painted with floral motifs and with the Strozzi-Majorca coat of arms in the center and the frescoes of the frieze by the Viterbo painter Tarquinio Ligustri, which came to light in 1985 during the restoration works , under the damaged tempera frieze by Giacinto Calandrucci. Of the baroque frieze, entirely photographed before its removal, only two heads of cherubs and part of a shell decoration remain in memory.

Today, therefore, the frescoes by Ligustri can be admired along the four walls of the Council Room: architectural frames with balustrades and telamons alternating with paintings in which landscapes with scenes of monks are inserted, niches with the symbols of cardinal and theological virtues, animals and birds , dry painted, on the boxes or fluttering in the skies and in a corner the swan, heraldic symbol of the Paravicini family.

Above the splendid fireplace in the center of the room, the ancient marble bust on the base of a noble Roman woman of the 2nd century AD . The bust, found in the excavations conducted in Piazza Venezia in 1902 for the construction of the Vittoriano, was donated by the Assicurazioni Generali to Marco Besso for the attainment of the office of president.

Sala del Consiglio
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image gallery

the frescoes up close
Sala del Consiglio
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Salone Rosso stemma soffitto
The particular perspective setting of the frieze with the rows of columns foreshortened in depth and the boxes creates the illusion of a larger space. On the long sides in the niches on one side the cardinal virtues on the other the theological virtues and the allegory of religion, in the corner of the frieze the swan, heraldic symbol of the family of Cardinal Paravicini, commissioner of the work ... .. above the table the sculpture in bronze, Antoine-Denis Chaudet's Belisario (18th-19th century)
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