Neoclassical Hall or Hall “near the mosaics”

The Neoclassical Hall which originally should not have been very different from the adjacent rooms as regards to the architecture and decorative structure, was completely modified around 1822 and transformed into a dining room at the express wish of Count Giberto V Arese Borromeo.

This change was entrusted to the painter, Gaspare Varenna who followed the neoclassical logic of denouncing explicitly the functions of the different rooms of stately homes, in contrast with the 17th-century habit of not designating rooms to fixed functions. Tables, cupboards and beds were often moved from one room to another according to the specific needs of the lord of the palace and were very often moved inside the family mansion.
Varenna replaced the original 17th-century frescoed medallion in the centre of the vault, with an elegant, square decoration which presented geometric motifs. The other eight side compositions contained images inspired by the “fourth Pompeian style,” painted mainly with nature, animals and birds as its subjects. This choice revealed a certain taste for archaeology of the owners of the palace of Cesano, in adherence to the fashion of the time, which was strongly influenced by the discovery of the city buried during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD and by the ensuing excavations which began in 1746 by order of Charles III of Bourbon.
Some inventories drawn up at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, indicate that this room was the “Dining romm, judging by the presence of three large tables and two small hickory tables placed under the two windows.” The antique furnishing was completed with 14 chairs of which eight were high-backed chairs upholstered with flowers and a mantelpiece.
It is likely that this room, like many others on the ground floor, was decorated by a crowded series of canvasses and paintings, some with religious themes.
Over the centuries, the Neoclassical Hall not only modified its function and its decorative-ornamental compositions, but also changed names several times. In fact, this hall was known as the Mosaic Foyer because it was the last room of the vestibule that leads to the Hall of the Nymph, originally an independent apartment with an antechamber, two rooms (one of which was used as a bedroom) and a small Baroque garden separate from the “large garden” (no longer existing) which was supposed to increase the sense of secluded tranquillity.