Room that leads to the Gallery of Statues

Described in the 18th century inventories as a room with few objects and a small table in imitation marble, this place must have originally been a study or simply an exclusive passageway leading to the private chapel dedicated to St. Peter the Martyr.

The actual fresco decoration shows a thick architectonic framework that entirely covers the walls, characterised by the presence of mixtilinear Doric pilasters surmounted by an architrave with protruding cornice decorated in rosettes. On top, a series of spiral scroll cornices adorn small frames depicting landscapes, alternated with corbels with frontal decorative overlays. The narrow southern wall distinguishes itself in this setup due to the presence of architectonic frames that give a glimpse of an Italian-styled garden.
The latter is painted with great care and seems to be enlivened by a lord and a dame, accompanied by a servant holding a parasol. The garden seems to slightly slope towards a wood, beyond which one can glimpse the façade of a majestic architecture with a sequence of statues placed in rounded niches. Beside the three figures enlivening the scene, the drawing of the abduction of a fourth figure is lightly sketched, while at their feet an unknown vandal wrote: “C’mon that’s fine.”
As in other rooms on the first floor, there are false paintings also in this room positioned above the entrance doors. These are drawn with octagonal cornices, representing couples of cupids immersed in the landscapes of woods. In the first, a cupid dressed in red, drops his bow to remove a palm leaf from his hand and another little angel dressed in blue, characterized by a typically feminine hairdo. In the second frame instead, the same cupids face one another with their bows tensed, but the one in red has already been struck in his heart. The placing of the two entities in the corner adjacent to the Chapel gave some critiques the idea that they could symbolise the Allegory of Sacred Love and Profane Love. The cupid dressed in red, in fact, seems to try to rob the other angel of the palm representing the primacy of divine love over the human heart, which in the direct confrontation is the loser (the cupid in blue). And so with these paintings the painter wished to represent the human race’s temptation, and of Count Arese himself, with regard to the mortal passions and the sin of man in thinking that his own will is more correct than divine will that at times, in its infinite bounty may seem painful and unbearable to man, such as the death of a son or a loved one.
The decorative set up of the hall should thus be interpreted in this sense, and shows the clashing between the two angels to symbolise the reluctance of Bartolomew III Arese to fully accept the heavenly will.