The lost illusions
This hall is the most sumptuous and prestigious place in the entire Palace, the Ballroom Hall.
To give shape to the Count’s aspirations, Giani and his workshop decorate every single inch of this room, from the walls to the ceilings. The painted scenes, the ornaments, the furniture and the fabrics are perfectly integrated with each other. The overall effect accentuates the feeling of becoming part of this marvel and participating in the actions of the great heroes. The Count dreams of organizing parties in this place for guests who should experience the same emotion.
Ancient glories celebrate the Count’s military career and his era, with particular reference to Napoleon’s heroic enterprise.
The painted scenes on the ceiling tell of the legendary Trojan War between the Greeks, led by Agamemnon, and the Trojans, led by Hector. The protagonist of the scenes is Achilles, the Greek hero par excellence, the only one who dares to rebel against Agamemnon.
Follow the narrative starting from the scene above where Chryses, the priest of Apollo, begs Agamemnon to have his daughter back. Agamemnon refuses and an offended Apollo unleashes an epidemic in the Greek camp. Agamemnon, forced to return the girl to appease the god, demands in exchange the slave of Achilles, Briseis. The central scene tells of the moment in which the hero, mad with rage, is about to draw his sword and kill Agamemnon but the goddess Minerva grabs his long hair and prevents the massacre. Achilles yields, delivers Briseis but in turn refuses to continue fighting despite the desperate pleas of the Greeks. Nothing moves him, until his dear friend Patroclus is killed by Hector. Follow the other scenes: his mother Thetis goes to the god Vulcan’s forge and asks for new armor for her son, and brings it to Achilles finding him in tears on the body of Patroclus.
In one of the lunettes the Greek hero fights furiously against the prince of the Trojans, Hector. Once the duel is won, he drags the body of his enemy along the walls of Troy.
In the other lunette, the Trojan king Priam goes to the Greek camp and begs to have his son’s body back to celebrate his funeral honors. Achilles, moved with pity, appeases his fury and grants Priam the body of Hector.
The story depicted tells of times of heroes where honour, greatness and loyalty to one’s values are fundamental ideals.
Francesco’s friendship with the Laderchi family is fundamental for his political career and it is thanks to their support that he comes into contact with the court of the Kingdom of Italy and with the viceroy Eugene of Beauharnais. The latter appoints him to command the fourth Company of Romagna on 9th September 1805 and, like the heroes of yesteryear, the Count then swears allegiance to Napoleon in 1807 in Milan.
Now turn your back to the Temple of Apollo and continue into the rooms on your right which form a small cozy quarter.