Room 15 Sala dei Continenti

Sala dei Continenti, second antechamber to the King’s apartment

This room is the only one on the first floor to have been decorated at the end of the 18th century, with work by Rocco and Antonio Maria Torricelli and Giovanni Comandù, while the design of the stucco frames is by Carlo Randoni, who borrowed from the Juvarra style of the following room.
In the corners of the ceiling, “the four parts of the World” are by the Torricelli brothers, who were also responsible for the Sun chariot at the centre of the ceiling and the allegories of the Rivers Po and Doria, painted in sanguine.
Along the two long sides of the room, there are six stucco frames that were to have contained twenty works by Comandù, who began painting two but then cancelled them out: “Ordinatomi il fu Sig.Intendente (Viotti) nella sud. Camera di dipingere in bassorilievo li sei venti, ed avendo formati i cartoni, ossia disegni in grande prima in Torino, di poi avendone dipinti due li fece scancellare perché arricchiva di troppo la camera” (“Having been ordered by the Superintendent (Viotti) in the above-mentioned room to paint the six winds in bas-relief, and having drawn the cartoons, or life-size drawings first in Turin, and having then painted two, he then had them cancelled because they enriched the room overly”). For this work, nevertheless, the artist claimed lire 85 for seven days’ work.
In an inventory of 1846, it is shown that there was still some furniture in the room: a “grey marble table supported by little shelves carved in volutes” and a “mirror between the shelves with plaque of green marble”.


Did you know? 

Carlo Randoni
(Turin, 1765 – 1831)

His Majesty’s First Architect was a member of the Consiglio degli Edili and of the Accademia delle Scienze. For the Dukes of Aosta, he designed some rooms in the nuptial apartment on the second floor of the Palazzo Reale, and the space set aside for them in the Venaria Reale. His name recurs in the work undertaken in the residences of Moncalieri, Pollenzo, near the Duomo of Turin and at the civic college of Tortona.
During the Napoleonic period, he was nominated National Architect, and worked on the urban layout of Turin.
Randoni worked in Rivoli from 1792, after presenting a project borrowing from the requests of the Dukes of Aosta, namely the completion of the building while limiting costs. Among the first measures adopted was that of making the Castello usable as quickly as possible, effecting the first, urgent repairs, furnishing some rooms on the piano nobile with furniture and fittings present in the building and building stairs to reach them. An estimate was also drawn up to lodge various professions in the Manica Lunga: painters, bricklayers, gilders, and also an estate manager and surgeon.
Carlo Randoni also worked on a very extensive plan for the gardens, with major levelling work requiring the removal of thousands of cubic metres of soil and gravel, together with the large erratic rocks making up the hill, formerly a glacial moraine. A “barrel of powder from a mine” was requested to blow these up.