My Penelope and the web of destiny
Are you tired of these ancient stories? For Milzetti and his generation they are full of charm.
The bedroom of the Count and his bride is entirely dedicated to some episodes of the Odyssey, the story of Ulysses: he is the hero of the journey and of the desire for knowledge, the hero with a thousand faces able to overcome any obstacle.
After the Trojan War, Ulysses wanders the sea for ten years before returning to his homeland, Ithaca, and finding his wife Penelope. The scenes on the ceiling retell the moments of the hero’s return home.
Francesco’s exploits are not comparable to those of Ulysses, but he is free to imagine Giacinta waiting for him at home while he tries to become a hero.
It is unusual to decorate in such a rich way a room with such an intimate nature. The idea behind this choice is to create a space suitable for family life with the same characteristics as the representative one. Notice how the decorative scheme is different from any other ceiling in the Palace: there is a complex distribution of spaces, and white and Prussian blue framing the scenes.
But we were talking about Ulysses, here are his stories.
The story begins with Telemachus embracing his mother Penelope after his short journey in search of his father; then, Counterclockwise, Ulysses, who has returned, is recognized by the faithful dog Argos who dies immediately afterwards. In the following scenes, Ulysses wears beggar’s clothes to be unrecognizable, while Penelope weeps at the memory of her distant husband. Instead, the old nurse Eurycleia recognizes Ulysses from a scar.
The story continues with the scene of the famous archery competition: whoever manages to stretch the bow will be able to marry Penelope.
The story ends in the scene in the central oval where Penelope and Ulysses finally reunited reach their nuptial bed:
Then she ran straight towards him, / dissolving in tears; and around his neck / both his arms she threw around him
The Count hopes to fascinate Giacinta with this story so as to convince her to live in these spaces, and to wait for him as faithful as Penelope.