I gave the Count a Best-Seller
Here we are in the library, the temple of every intellectual or noble man.
Reading the classics or the new poets was a widespread activity at the time, shared by both Giani and Count Milzetti. It is precisely on these shelves that the Count collects his books.
In 1802 Ugo Foscolo publishes his masterpiece The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis. Felice Giani and the writer are united by friendship and they probably know each other’s work. Even the Count must have loved this book because it is the portrait of the desires and ambitions of young people who wanted to change the world and become at last modern men. He may have recognized in those ambitious young people the French, whom he admires so much.
Giani feeds his creativity with readings of theoretical and demanding essays. In the same way he draws inspiration from models such as those studied on the collections of prints produced after the great archaeological discoveries of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Thanks to these readings and to his irrepressible curiosity he creates in this environment an optical illusion with faux wood moldings in the ceiling to create continuity with the surfaces of the furniture.
In this quarter Giani depicts Apollo and Minerva, symbols of knowledge and wisdom, surrounded by the personifications of the arts.
Above the window, at the feet of Abundance and Commerce, he paints the initials of the Count. It seems strange now to think that the Count wanted to be remembered also in those areas in which he proved to be less shrewd.