Sunday, March 1, 2015


Sala dei Palafrenieri
Also known as Sala dei Chiaroscuri (chiaroscuri room) for the type of paintings, Sala dei Cubicularii (room of the guards) for the supervisors of the cubiculum (bedroom) of the Pope or, indeed, Sala dei Palafrenieri Grooms Room for those who used to transport the pope's chair

It was also known as Sala del Pappagallo (parrot's room) for here was the parrot in a cage, according to the custom documented since the eleventh century to keep a parrot in a room of the papal apartments wherever they were, even in Avignon

Massive and spectacular ceiling carved and gilded with Medici family symbols, maybe designed by Raphael

It had been decorated by Raphael in 1517 but it was repainted in the years 1560/82 by order of Pius IV Medici (1559/65) first and Gregory XIII Boncompagni (1572/85) after, by the brothers Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609) and Taddeo Zuccari (1529/66) with “Apostles and Sts. Stephen and Lawrence” in fake niches and “Allegories of Virtues” in fake broken pediments

Other painters worked here including Giuseppe Cesari aka Cavalier d'Arpino (1568/1640), who debuted here with his first work (“Allegory of Fatigue” with Samson holding the door in Gaza), and the brothers Giovanni Alberti (1558/1601) and Cherubino Alberti (1553/1615

The five pillars that separate the room into two parts were inserted under Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800/23)

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