Versione italiana  
La Sala da Pranzo con il Parnaso di Andrea Appiani

First-floor Decorations 

Designed during Napoleon’s reign, the interiors on the upper floor are sumptuous and commemorative and thus opposed to the balanced aesthetics of Villa Belgiojoso.In the Ball Room and Dining Hall (Rooms XV and XVII), sculpted doors, mirrors above fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, and walls full of white and gilded decorative elements represent the lavish and exuberant taste of Napoleonic Neo-classicism. On the over doors in the Ball Room and the large lunettes in the Dining Hall we also find stuccowork with mythological scenes by Grazioso Rusca, who had also executed the facades.At the center of the Dining Hall’s ceiling we find the famous fresco by Andrea Appiani. Painted in 1811 to complete the Napoleonic decorative cycle, the Parnassus portrays Apollo surrounded by the muses Melpomene, Urania, Thalia, Erato, Euterpe, Terpsichore, Clio, Polyhymnia, and Calliope. This work allowed Appiani, thanks to the iconographic support of the Hellenist Luigi Lamberti, to tackle a theme already portrayed in the 1500s by Raphael and reinterpreted in the 1600s by Anton Raphael Mengs. Characterized on a stylistic level by polished surfaces, velvety colors, a wide use of chiaroscuro, and great detailing, this work challenges the very idea of “a fresco” painting, normally related to greater abstraction imposed by the speed of execution. 



F. Mazzocca (a cura di), La Galleria d'Arte Moderna e la Villa Reale di Milano, Cinisello Balsamo, 2007