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Spring and Winter


Agostino Mitelli (Badolo-Battedizzo, Bologna, 1609 – Madrid, 1660)
Ceiling – Spring and Winter

Angelo Michele Colonna (Rovenna, Como, 1604 – Bologna 1687)
Walls – Illusionistic ceiling painting
The Bed Chamber of The Duke of Genoa

As attested by documents and sources, the ceiling of the room was frescoed by Agostino Mitelli and Angelo Michele Colonna, an extraordinary and highly successful example of the combination of figure and illusionistic painting that was the cornerstone of the Baroque decorative culture and of which the artists from the Emilia region were unsurpassed masters. According to Carlo Cesare Malvasia, Giovanni Battista Balbi commissioned them to decorate an entire “galeria”, perhaps the present-day Gallery of Mirrors, for the generous fee of a thousand scudi. The artists were first required to demonstrate their skill, however, in a room of the west wing and small adjoining chamber, where their works still survive, while Balbi was away from Genoa. A quarrel broke out almost immediately with a major-domo, who criticized their work and insulted them to the point where they decided to leave the city. On his return, Giovanni Battista was very impressed by the results achieved and tried in every way to persuade them to come back, also for the agreed work on the gallery, promising not only to dismiss the offending official but also to increase agreed fee. It was all to no avail. Even the news of the major-domo’s sudden death while gambling one evening was not enough to secure their return.

  • Agostino Mitelli
  • 1651-1653
  • affresco
  • Camera da Letto del Duca di Genova