Hunting Hall

The “Hunting Hall”, which takes its name from the theme of the paintings exhibited, is one of the last rooms on the first floor of the southwest wing commissioned by Count Giuseppe Antonio and perhaps designed by architect Ruggeri.

The rectangular hall has a similar decoration theme as the previous “Zodiac Hall”. The presence on the walls of a plinth with mixtilinear frames in relief, topped by arabesque motifs and spirals that lead to four large paintings on canvas differentiates it. The hunting scenes depicted were painted in the early 18th century by Angelo Maria Crivelli also known as Crivellone. Two of them are signed in full by the artist (“Angelo Maria Crivelli created in the Year 1705”) or its abbreviation (“ANL, MRA / CRL. F.”). This is probably attributable to the loss of the signature on the other two paintings whose paint unfortunately looks flaked and incomplete in some areas.
There are very few biographical information about the artist: it is assumed that he was a painter who specialized in generic representations of hunting wild and domestic birds, poultry and fish and was active from the late 17th century until about 1730, when all his biographical information ceased. The four canvases placed in the room are battle scenes between animals that traced their iconographic matrices to Flemish culture and paintings, in which Crivelli seems to refer to in a rather simplistic way.
In the first painting we observe a bloody struggle between a pack of angry dogs, one wearing a red collar with “Arconati” inscribed in gold capital letters and a huge bird where one recognizes the image of a lion. The second canvas, however, consist of dogs attacking a big bear in the woods, while the third, which is less preserved as a whole, shows a pack of dogs attacking an angry black boar. In the fourth canvas there is a big brown bull surrounded by dogs, depicted in the exact moment when the dog is closest and most threatening.
The paintings on the walls are framed with gilded relief motifs, similar to the decorations on the ceiling, characterized by scrolls, medallions and foliage plants. Above the doors are framed oval medallions in relief with gold borders that make them an integral part of the overall decoration. In fact, even the ceiling is adorned with fragmented mixtilinear scroll medallions that contain small reliefs depicting pairs of female figures, taken from the stories of the ancient world. The repeated presence of bows and arrows in these depictions lead us to think that the main character is the goddess of the hunt Diana (Artemis), pictured here with her companions. Small relief putty are scattered throughout the ceiling, holding strips of golden ribbons, which small birds raise in flight.