New 18th century wing

At the beginning of the 18th century, the Castellazzo reached its final configuration: the southwest wing of the villa designed by the architect, Giovanni Ruggeri, was built.

In harmony with the 17th-century gallery, on the other side of the main courtyard is a space made up of a series of rooms and reception halls. Commissioned by Luigi Maria Arconati, the so-called “New Wing” presents decorative elements typical of the baroque or rococo. The rooms are decorated with a plinth in faux relief, which runs along under the windows, with drawings of protruding swirls and patterns, now partially ruined. Above the windows are painted friezes which run along the whole hall, presenting rich decorations of painted trompe l’oeil. Here one can observe shells, mouldings and faux, illusionistic, architectural elements that extend beyond the edge of the frieze with colourful flowers. Altogether it seems to architecturally interpret a stormy sea. These architectural elements in fact alternate with mixtilinear medallions with landscapes and seascapes that show illusionistic cross sections of distant countries.
It has a coffered wood ceiling and is painted with scrolls and arabesque motifs in faux stucco with details in gold. On the supporting beams are other decorations in faux relief that served to further ennoble the whole room. The windows are framed and painted to simulate a three-dimensional relief, with a slight indentation at the top, in a profusion of scrolls with a central light green shell. On the walls of the two rooms are some monochrome paintings. These works, along with other monochrome paintings upstairs, are by Francesco Podesti, a painter from Ancona, who passed by Milan in his youth, and forged strong ties with the Busca family, then owner of the villa. The first painting represents a preparatory sketch for one of his most famous works, the “Oath of the People of Ancona.” Signed and dated 1852, this would be a definitive study of the work completed in 1856. In particular, the artist paints a group of bystanders, which in the finished work will stand to the left of the painting. You see men with threatening expressions, a woman holding a baby in her arms and an emissary who is hunted by soldiers. The next room, however, shows a dramatic scene from the “Massacre of the Innocents”: a woman with a desperate expression that is taken by the hair by a soldier armed with a knife, while desperately trying to save the child in her arms. Upstairs, just off the Galliari reception hall is another work by Podesti that portrays the image of Christ crowned with thorns, harassed and humiliated by soldiers. This monochrome painting is more damaged than the other two and is surrounded by a square mixtilinear frame. Designed as a sort of game and playful tribute to the landlord, the monochrome paintings are precious evidence of a little known artist active in Northern Italy, but of great interest and technical ability, as demonstrated by the precise and detailed descriptions of his characters.