The hall was created by Italian architect Guilio Podesti (1857 – 1909) between 1890 and 1894, influencing the renewal of the architecture in the Rome during the thirty years following its proclamation as capital of Italy. The large living room is a prime example of the so-called “eclectic” style then en vogue in Europe. The living room captured its eclectic reputation due to the immense collection of forms and styles of the past, with the most harmonious combinations reflecting the specific history of each city. In this hall, Podesti chose a neo-baroque approach, where the alternation of concave and convex surfaces is emphasised by floral moldings taken from the classical repertoire, such as garlands, cornucopias and metopes, and a frame, of “classical inspiration” which runs around the room perimeter.
The pavilion vault is the primary source of natural and artificial light in the hall. It is lowered, with a quadrangular shape that opens in the centre. It was decorated with frescoes by the artist Mario Spinetti (1859- 1915). The fresco evokes a further opening to the outside through the technique of trompe l'oeil. Four rounds are settled to enrich the decoration of the vault, representing the portraits of four emblematic figures of international romanticism who have spent time in Italy. These are two women and two men, whose different geographical origins allude to the international vocation of
the hotel. These portraits feature Emma Hamilton from England, Anne Louise de Stael from France, Nathaniel Hawthorne from the United States, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from Germany. There are also some special decorative elements that show references to the style "Liberty", which is named after an English luxury trader by the name of Arthur Liberty. The Liberty style was based on the conception that art had to invest every moment and space in to everyday life: it was characterized by graceful and sinuous lines and by a decorativism linked to nature themes. This can be seen in the two lamps located on either side of the lounge, the candelabras, and the finer details such as the wrought-iron finishing on the railings and the ashtraies below.
A wood grandfather clock and a barometer, both French and dating back to the 1870s, are placed aside the painted wood columns that lead you to the vestibule. This one is characterized by the large gold pavilion vault which features an oval similar to the floor in polychrome marble. Moldings and decorations are in continuity with the previous room, while another reference to the French taste of the time is given by the consolle and the two table clocks in chased and gilt bronze.
Expertise and historical research by Imago Artis Tour • Via Vespasiano, 40 • Roma Italy +39 06 39 72 91 73 • +39 334 82 92 269
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Wow... the decor is palatial! We felt like royals and we wanted to stay in the fragrant hotel lobby as much as possible! Could not stop taking pictures of the chandelier and outstanding floral arrangements! Unbelievably dreamy!