Room 22 Sala del Sorgere del Giorno
Sala del Sorgere del Giorno, formerly the bedroom of the Duchess of Aosta, or Sala della primavera or Salone grande
The bedroom of Maria Teresa of Austria-Este, Duchess of Aosta.The ceiling presents the scene painted in 1793 by the Rocco and Antonio Maria Torricelli brothers, who here revealed all their skill in painting the central pavilion suggesting an opening on to a blue sky in which the protagonists of the scene appear: Aurora leaving behind Night, shown by a shivering old man surrounded by cold winds and by a putto with a torch in hand. Lucifer also appears, together with the morning star and probably Espero, evening star.
The grisaille imitation caryatids in the cornice were painted by Angelo Vacca.
The painted and gilt wooden decoration was realised in 1793-94 by Bozzelli, Gritella and Fumario in the typically classicising style of the time.
The monochrome figures above the doors show the Arts and Sciences, and are attributed to the Torricelli brothers, while the lintels, returned to their original locations in 2004, show the seasons, day and night, in the personification of children recalling the classical gods. These canvases may be attributed to Guglielmo Lévera, probably assisted by Pietro Cuniberti.
A light-blue fabric on the walls matches that of the duchess’s bed, which was placed opposited the fireplace.
The chimney piece in white marble from Pont Canavese, made by Giuseppe Marsaglia is very refined; it used to include gilt-bronze inserts by Simone Duguet but these no longer survive.
Did you know?
The Torricelli brothers
“Sig. ri Pittori Fratelli Torricelli di Lugano, trasferitisi di colà a questa Città …” (“Messrs. bros. Torricelli of Lugano, whence they moved to this City…”)
Rocco was a figure painter, while Antonio Maria dedicated himself to perspective painting.
The description of them by another painter in Rivoli, Pietro Palmieri, who had met Antonio Maria, is curious: “in Vercelli, I met Torricelli, who painted the famous triumphal arch… he had a brother who was a figure painter, and a good fresco painter toom but he was his enemy in terms of politics. Torricelli the architectural painter, was a free thinker, and a so-called republican. The figure-painter, who lived in Lyon, was an extreme absolutist, and even said that the architect (his brother) deserved killing. The above-mentioned Torricelli architect was a true gentleman: he would teach all those who asked him without claiming any payment of any sort”.
The ceiling of the Duchess of Aosta’s bedroom would be their first documented commission in Rivoli, and this was followed by others in the apartment: the State room, the Imitation wood room and Veil room; and on the first floor, the Room of the continents.
The Duchess of Aosta certainly played a hand in choosing the Torricelli brothers to decorate her apartment at Rivoli, and it may be that she had had occasion to visit the Palazzo Grosso di Riva near Chieri, where the two painters had worked on request of Faustina Mazzetti, an enlightened and refined member of the Piedmontese aristocracy.