The Maria Luigia Reading Room

In the Maria Luigia Salon with books arranged in sections separated by Corinthian capital topped pilasters, Francesco Scaramuzza frescoed the central part of the ceiling with “Prometheus stealing a spark from the Sun while protected by Minerva”.

The two large octagons which flank the central area show the coats of arms of the august patron held up by the spirits representing Science and Art by Giovanni Gaibazzi. In the two rectangular paintings, respectively above the entrance door and above the opposite space “painted in the manner of a bronze low relief” by Stanislao Campana, can be found the image of Tasso reading in the Academy of the Unnamed presided over by Ranuccio Farnese and the Meeting in Parma between Petrarch and Azzo da Correggio.

On either side of these, Giuseppe Varoli painted Religion and Philosophy reaching out to Galileo as he explains the movement of the earth, and Giocando Viglioli painted The invention of the compass and The invention of Printing. The decorative system of the vaulted ceiling is completed with coloured festoons, a frieze which runs all the way around the room with the letters of the alphabet in correspondence with the shelves below and a coffered decoration of rosettes, all of which were commissioned from the “ornamentalist” Girolamo Gelati and his student Filippo Bocchi.

Photo credits
ph Giovanni Hänninen