The "Sala delle Asse"

Leonardo's masterpiece at the Sforza Castle

The Axis Hall is a large square room located on the ground floor of the northern tower, also known as the Falconer's Tower, of Sforza Castle.

Leonardo da Vinci created a gigantic arbor of mulberry trees that, starting from the large trees painted along the walls, spreads out to cover the entire vault in a dense tangle of branches and golden ropes, woven into intricate knots of great elegance.

It can be counted among the earliest examples of illusionistic decoration.

The decoration alludes to the figure of Ludovico Maria Sforza known as the Moor, commissioner of the work and Duke of Milan: the choice of the mulberry tree, called "moro" or "morone," to decorate the Duke's reception room is a clear reference to Ludovico's nickname (the Moor).

In the central oculus of the vault is the shield framed with the coats of arms of the Sforza and Este families.

The four blue background plaques celebrate important family anniversaries.

The room's encomiastic decoration was probably not completed by Leonardo, who, with the fall of Ludovico il Moro and the arrival of French troops in September 1499, had to leave the city of Milan in a hurry.

On the walls of the north corner of the room is a large portion of a preparatory monochrome drawing that testifies to how the mulberry tree trunks were to be grafted down into a naturalistic undergrowth, with mighty roots forcing their way into the ground.

Thanks to recent restoration, extraordinary new traces of preparatory drawing have emerged on the walls of the room below numerous layers of lime.

Credits: Story

The Street View captures was carried out during the 2019 restorations.

Credits: All media
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