Room of Charles Emmanuel I
The name derives from the birth in 1562 of Charles Emmanuel I, son of Duke Emmanuel Philibert and Margaret of France, Duchess of Berry.
The ceiling, the painted parts of which are largely lost, presented a motif with roses by Guglielmo Lévera, a painter specialising in perspective, while at the centre, Giovenale Bongiovanni had painted a scene that was still visible in 1936 which he himself described as “Fame showing to Glory the heroic virtues of the Royal Princes accompanied by Magnificence, Valour and Generosity”.
In the corners may be seen the initials of the duke surmounted by the crown, all made of stucco in the early 18th century. The neoclassical decoration was made in conformity with the designs of Carlo Randoni, who planned paired Ionic pilasters along the walls and a large chimney piece in stucco with trophies, arms, putti and theSavoy motto: F.E.R.T.
The stucco decoration on the ceiling and walls are by the studio of Giovanni Marmori and date from 1794.
On the sides are two consoles designed by Randoni himself and made by carpenter called Giuseppe Marsaglia.
The present floor, of Venetian seminato, is a faithful copy in terms of materials and colours of the one made in 1793 by a Venetian craftsman called Leopoldo Avoni.
The room was seriously damaged and restored in accordance with a plan by the Duke of Aosta’s architect, as was the floor, partly since lost.
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The birth of Charles Emmanuel I
“L’enfant serait un fils qui se appellerait Charles et qui serait le plus gran capitaine de son siècle”; this the prophecy of “Michele Nostrodamo”, an “expert of Nature’s secrets, come from Salon de Provence” to Rivoli to visit the Duchess of Savoy, Margaret of France. The princess, the bride of Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, hero of the Battle of San Quintino, was 35 and for the time considered too old to bear children. A fact her brother, Henri II, king of France was well aware of, and it was he who encouraged this wedding as part of the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis for, if there were no male issue, this would have meant the end of the Savoy dynasty and the definitive transfer to France of its fortresses, together with the arrival in Turin of the Savoy-Nemours, the closest and now firmly Frenchified relatives.
Against all the expectations of the august relatives in France, Charles Emmanuel I was born in Rivoli on January 12 , 1562. The birth was “in coram populo”: in other words, before witnesses who could testify that the child was truly the son of Margaret.
The ducal couple were in Rivoli in 1561 with the whole court, ready to move toTurin, which Emmanuel Philibert had designated as the new capital of the Duchy.
The birth was received with great enthusiasm by Emmanuel Philibert, and he immediately went to the church of San Domenico in Rivoli to have Te Deum sung. At the end of this, he returned to the castle, noted that an “unusual fire” had appeared in the sky and announced this to be a portent of the miracle that had occurred.
The Biblioteca Reale in Turin preserved the “Pronostico per Carlo Emanuele I” (“Prophecies for Charles Emmanuel I”). Among the various forecasts, it is claimed that “glory and victory in wars shall be divided between honours and skills, broadening the frontiers of the state, and his death shall not be violent”. His reign was marked by war, intractable political problems, and he divided his time between roles as soldier and poet, promoting a series of important reforms.