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The frescoes in the great hall

Pinacoteca comunale

The great hall was brought to its actual size when Alessandro Vitelli, between 1543 and 1544, obtained the permission from the council to expand the building southwards, building above the pomerio, the street alongside the main wall. The decoration was done in two stages. The first, preceding the expansion, to the entrance wall and the first half of the left wall: in a large central band imaginative landscapes are depicted within panels surrounded by decorated patterns in Grotesque style, and separated by telamons, and at the lower pedestal dogs and small fictional animals are painted. It was carried out by Cristofano Gherardi no later than 1537, as indicated by the date above one of the telamons. Gherardi (1508-1556), one of Vasari’s favourite pupils, was commended by the Arezzo artist for his capacity to create decorations in a Grotesque style so much that he writes “Cristofano worked Grotesque style very well, you couldn’t find better, but he didn’t give it a certain finish that had perfection”.

The second decorative campaign, on the upper band of the four walls, was carried out by Cola dell’Amatrice, and portrays the stories of renowned characters of ancient times:  Annibale, Scipione, Cesare and Alessandro Magno. The undertakings of these heroes were supposed to recall the military and political skills of the patron, Alessandro Vitelli.