The Lounge

  •  This room, completely frescoed, is the largest of the building and one of the largest halls of the historical buildings in Volterra. Main salon of the house, in the nineteenth century was intended to be the dance hall. The frescoes of the central part of the vault are from the end of the eighteenth century, while the other paintings were performed in the mid-nineteenth century by Lodovico Gamberucci, favourite painter of  Volterra’s aristocracy, with additions made in the early twentieth century by Menotti Caluri, also famous in Volterra.
    The nineteenth-century doors and the eighteenth-century floor are both of particular value. The remarkable height of the windows allows the room to have good lighting.
  • The access to to the lounge, once called entrance hall, was either from a narrow staircase or one of the six doors until 1844.
    The lounge had representation functions, and connected all the rooms and private apartments of the palace, joined together by several secondary stairs.
    Restoration works carried out in 1974 have highlighted the existence of a large fireplace adjacent to the doors, once connected to the main staircase and the presence of beams, previous to the vaulted ceiling .
    We have a description of how the lounge appeared in 1794. In the large vaulted room there was a matrimonial wooden coat of arms of the Ricciarelli and Buonamici Houses, of about 2.30 mt height. Hanging on the walls three paintings representing three natural figures, and six painted colored wood chests located at each door of the salon.
    In 1797 restorations were carried out throughout the palace, probably in coincidence with such works an unknown painter performs the ornamental apparatus of the vault of the hall.
    In 1855 the room was called the main hall or white and gold salon; the eighteenth-century floor was covered by a large carpet of which fixing nails remained, the room was also furnished with sofas, armchairs and a coat of arms. It is known that the main hall was connected to the Gothic studio, the red living room, the playroom, the cretonne lounge, the bleu lounge.
    On July 17, 1875 Lodovico Gamberucci was paid for the paintings performed in the room. He mades the double frieze that frames paintings on the vault, the light blu bottom of the walls, the frame of the three large mirrors hanging on the walls, the windows parapets, the door frame frieze, and the pairs of white edged columns that frame the blue-colored parts of the three walls. The base of the double frieze was painted with light colored inserts; the door frame frieze consisted of white grove-inspired plant reliefs standing on a bottom of the same color as the walls of the room.
    At the base of the walls a painted parapet ran, still partially visible behind the radiators.
    In 1912 the house was equipped with heating; In the 1920s, the painter, Menotti Caluri, painted in the rooms devoid of decorations and made some adjustments on the paintings of Lodovico Gamberucci. Caluri mades brick-colored inserts in the middle of the walls, instead the light blue ; other red-brown and black inserts of the double frieze with grotesque inspiration reliefs; brown squares door frame frieze, also with grotesque reliefs in fake stucco; the decorative flounces at the base of the walls and the outline of the windows, always in grotesque style, brown.
    You can now admire in the lounge two chests of the sixteenth century, a Murano’s Chandelier of the eighteenth century, a head by Raffaello Consortini, a painting by Xavier Bueno, a painting by Massimo Campigli and some paintings by Ida Dello Sbarba.