Giants’ Hall or Twelve Holes Game Hall

The Twelve Holes Game Hall draws its name from the presence of a game table similar to billiards during the 18th century.  This room is famous also as the Hall of Giants, because of the painting on the medallion in the centre of the vault, too damaged for the critics to be unanimous in attributing it to either Giuseppe Nuvolone (1619-1793) or to Ercole Procaccini, the Younger (1605-1677). Both painters were highly appreciated by Bartolomeo Arese and active in the painting of other rooms of the palace.

This painting depicts a mythological subject with great political value: the Assault of the Giants at Olympus. The lower part of the painting is a scene of the fury of the giants, huge beings armed with clubs that looked deformed because of the violence. At the top of the painting, the giants, attacked by a multitude from Olympus, are retreating behind clouds apparently intimidated. Only Minerva-Athena throws herself resolutely against the attackers to repel them; she is portrayed with lifted spear and a protective shield decorated with the head of Medusa.
Some books identify the painted scene as Titanomachia, with a clear reference to another mythological episode: attack on Olympus shortly before the Gigantomachia. Various epic poems, in fact, narrate that the war between the gods led by Zeus and the titans, children of Uranus and Gaea, lasted for more than ten years until the intervention of the Cyclops and the Hecatonchires (giants with a hundred arms). The victory in favour of the gods, had their enemies imprisoned in Tartarus, which angered Gaea, the Earth, who did not forgive Zeus for this victory over her children. She, along with other creatures including the Giants, who were also defeated and sent into the abyss, incited rebellion with the help of Hercules, against the gods. Hercules is depicted in the painting as sitting among the clouds in the left hand corner above Mercury, the god of flight.
Regardless of the iconographic uncertainties, the significance of the painting remains the same and recalls a theme that is often repeated in some of the halls of this building: the wisdom of the counsellors, together with their military capacity as the only chance for the Spanish monarchy to return to its former glory and to win the contrasts determined by the French-Spanish conflict. In this fresco, the goddess, Minerva, would therefore correspond to the figure of Bartolomeo Arese, a member of the Council of Sixty Decurions since 1627 and the Secret Council since 1641, and later, honorary regent of the Supreme Council of Italy. Philip IV of Hapsburg, known as Philip the Great and King of the Planet, who engaged in the Thirty Years’ War, would have been represented by Jupiter-Zeus.
The following are from the late 18th century: decorations on the vault, the lunettes and spandrels characterized by elegant floral designs and delicate monochromes depicting landscapes that alternate classical and medieval ruins. Previously, the lunettes contained a series of octagonal paintings of flower arrangements.