Jupiter's Love Hall (XVII sec. ca.) by Agostino CarracciPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
The vault of the hall
Although the Hall has seen numerous interventions and artists working inside it, what is represented in stuccoes and frescoes is a representation of a single theme: love, depicted in its most diverse forms, the carnal, the maternal, the triumphal one. Love conquers all things. The vault shows several scenes painted by Agostino Carracci: the decorative apparatus is divided into "paintings" that mark the different scenes.
The central painting
In the central, octagonal painting, Carracci depicts three cherubs in the garden of Venus intent on making a bow and arrow - weapons of love.
Jupiter's Love Hall: Enea and Venus (XVII sec. ca.) by Agostino CarracciPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
Aeneas and Venus
In the painting to the east, Aeneas sails on the waters marked by the Nereids under the watchful gaze of Venus - her mother - lying on a dolphin.
The figures preserve the drawing even if in a more tenuous way than other subjects contained in the halls of the Palace. The lightness of the bodies is also underlined by the hair scattered in the wind.
The pivotal point of the narration here is the gaze between Aeneas and Venus.
Jupiter's Love Hall: Mars and Venus' wedding (XVII sec. ca.) by Agostino CarracciPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
The wedding of Mars and Venus
In the west picture, Venus and Mars together with a little cupid and two nymphs.
The light colors of the bodies and clothing of Mars contrast with the dark background, which in turn contrasts with the shine of the vault of the hall.
Jupiter's Love Hall: Peleo and Teti (XVII sec. ca.) by Agostino CarracciPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
Peleus and Thetis
In the picture to the south, Peleus and Tethis, just woken up, showing her beauty.
The pose that Thetis assumes deviates from the classicist compositions of the Renaissance to approach the Mannerist current.
The shadowy parts are perfectly pondered, so much that the parts of the armor closest to the cloak are even darker.
Laudatory epigraph for Agostino Carracci by Claudio AchilliniPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
The epigraph of praise to Carracci
In the painting to the north, there is, instead, an epitaph: the death of Carracci in 1602 prevents him from completing the vault and a eulogistic inscription dictated by Claudio Achillini for the painter is placed in the last empty space.
The name of the deceased painter is reported, in Latin, as the first words of the epigraph.
The stuccoes of the corners of the hall
The theme of love is also taken up by Giovanni Bosco for the stuccoes in the corners and by Carlo Cignani for the decoration of the walls.
Jupiter's Love Hall: Leda with the swan (XVII sec. ca.) by Giovanni BoscoPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
Leda's gaze is slightly different from the classic matrix, visible from the expressiveness of the eyes and the half-open mouth.
Jupiter's Love Hall: Jupiter and Danae (XVII sec. ca.) by Giovanni BoscoPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
The expressiveness also continues in the stucco depicting Jupiter and Danae.
Jupiter's Love Hall: Jupiter and Selene (XVII sec. ca.) by Giovanni BoscoPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
Despite some damage to the figure of Jupiter, here too the expression of the god is preserved.
The arm resting on the ground is a type of recurrence that can be seen from Michelangelo's Pietà to Neoclassical compositions such as those by David.
Jupiter's Love Hall: the abduction of Europe (Seconda metà del XVII sec.) by Carlo CignaniPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
The frescoes by Cignani
While the Wood represents four scenes related to the figure of Jupiter (Jupiter and Danae, Jupiter and Europa, Jupiter and Semele, Jupiter and Leda), Cignani engages in a more complex decoration. On the north wall he depicts the Triumph of Venus and Love with Graces and Pleasure; to the east, Bacchus and Ariadne intent on exchanging a gift; to the west, the Triumph of Venus and Love in the Rape of Europa; to the south, the struggle between Love and Pan and Daphne pursued by Apollo.
The chromatic richness of the drapes blends well with the solemnity of the figure of Europa above Jupiter turned into a bull.
In the background of the mythological scene a town can be seen, perhaps an imaginative depiction of Parma or another existing town.
Jupiter's Love Hall: the triumph of Love (Seconda metà del XVII sec.) by Carlo CignaniPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
The triumph appears as a small procession with winged figures that spread petals and flowers as the chariot of Love passes through.
The naturalistic part also takes on exotic echoes visible from palm trees.
Under the chariot of Love are a sword, a book, a palette with brushes, a laurel wreath and the seal of the Roman Empire. It could be a reference to the past or to knowledge.
Jupiter's Love Hall: Bacco and Arianna's wedding (Seconda metà del XVII sec.) by Carlo CignaniPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
The solemnity of the figure of Bacchus, the central character from which the whole narrative starts.
The figures on the right, the main ones, are clear and full of light.
Instead, they contrast with the background figures, painted with several shaded parts.
Jupiter's Love Hall (Seconda metà del XVII sec.) by Carlo CignaniPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
Apollo tries to reach Daphne that turns into a tree.
The metamorphosis of Daphne into a tree: her fingers are blended from flesh-color to vegetable green.
Jupiter's Love Hall (Seconda metà del XVII sec.) by xPalazzo Ducale del Giardino
In this detail, we see the expressiveness of Pan that is blocked by Love.