View the Secret, 500-Year-Old Frescoes Found at the Monaco Prince’s Palace

Europa
A fresco depicting the abduction of Europa by Zeus, in the form of a bull © Maël Voyer Gadin / The Prince’s Palace of Monaco

While making routine repairs to the historic Prince’s Palace of Monaco in 2015, restorers made a surprising discovery: a series of hidden frescoes depicting the 12 labors of Hercules and allegorical figures that had been covered with paint for centuries.

After years of careful preservation by a team of roughly 40 specialists, the frescoes are finally ready for prime time, reports Artnet’s Jo Lawson-Tancred. Officials had planned to unveil the paintings in 2020 but were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now on view as part of the palace’s summer reopening, the frescoes are accessible to the public through October 15.

Initially conceived as part of a Genoese fortress in 1191, the palace has served as the home of the Grimaldi family since 1297. Today, it’s the residence of Albert II, who became the 32nd ruler of the small, sovereign principality located along the Mediterranean Sea in 2005.

Hercules fresco
One of the frescoes depicting Hercules’ 12 labors © Morgane Vie / The Prince’s Palace of Monaco

It’s unclear who covered up the frescoes in the first place—or why—but experts believe they likely date back to the 16th century, during the Italian Renaissance. They suspect Genoese artists created the frescoes, which span around 718 square yards, based on the style of the art and the type of lime-based plaster used.

The discovery places both the Grimaldi family and the building itself “within a new art historical context as a Renaissance palace,” Julia Greiner, the chief conservator-restorer, tells Artnet.

In addition to Hercules’ labors, restorers also discovered a large fresco of Odysseus and a ceiling painting depicting the mythological abduction of Europa by the god Zeus, who appears in the form of a bull.

The Prince's Palace of Monaco
The Prince’s Palace of Monaco The Prince’s Palace of Monaco

“This scene is depicted here with sweetness and poetry,” palace officials wrote of the Europa piece in a Facebook post, according to Google Translate. “The chromatic range, extremely well preserved, recalls the Mediterranean sunsets and the rosy cheeks of the young woman. The movement of the water around the bull is extraordinary in life and accuracy.”

Monaco is the second-smallest independent state in the world, after Vatican City. Situated on a rocky outcropping within a natural harbor of the Mediterranean, the site of the palace served as a strategic outpost for the Republic of Genoa starting in the late 12th century. The Grimaldis, one of the aristocratic families of Genoa, captured the fortress in 1297. Over the years, as age and various battles have taken their toll on the property, the family has undertaken many renovation and expansion projects.

As Cassandra Tanti writes for Monaco Life, today, the palace “reveals the changing tastes over time and is filled with beautiful pieces of art, painted ceilings and elaborately decorated spaces. Though certainly museum-quality, the rooms feel more accessible and livable due to the way they have been staged.”

Related Posts

Archaeological Revelation: Unearthing a 230-Million-Year-Old “Hybrid” Creature Between Crocodile and Bird

Αt the eпd of the Trіassіc рeriod, the lапd of whаt іs пow the ѕtate of Wyomіпg of the Uпіted Stаtes exіsted а ѕtraпge beаst wіth а рarrot-like beаk, а dіпosaυr body. It wаs паmed Beeѕiiwo сooowυse, а пew ѕpecieѕ. The Beаst Jυѕt Αррeared іп ΑmerіcaThe …

Read more

Frozen Heritage: Unraveling the Enigma of Ötzi, the 5,300-Year-Old Icebound Man Preserved in Time

Iп 1991, two Germап hіkers ѕtυmbled υрoп а frozeп сorpse thаt hаd beeп іmmacυlately рreserved beпeаth the іce іп the Eаsterп Alрs for over fіve mіlleпіa. Sіпce the dіscovery, the 5300-yeаr-old mυmmy – kпowп аs “Iсemaп” or “Ötzі” – hаs рroveп а paleomicrobiological …

Read more

Echoes from the Past: Deciphering the Mystery of 80 Ancient Skeletons Found with Hands Raised Above Heads

Arсhaeologists hаve dіѕсovered 80 апсіeпt mаle ѕkeletoпѕ іп а bυrіаl ѕіte, dаtіпg bасk to the 7th сeпtυry BCE, іп the Fаlіro rіver deltа regіoп, ѕoυtherп Atheпѕ. The ѕkeletoпѕ were foυпd аrrапged wіth theіr hапdѕ tіed аbove theіr heаdѕ. A hyрotheѕіѕ ѕυggeѕtѕ …

Read more

Unraveling Mysteries: Exploring the Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Mummies

The mυmmy of Lаdy Rаi іs oпe of the oldeѕt kпowп mυmmіes υпсovered іп Egyрt. She wаs dіscovered іп 1881 апd reѕearcherѕ eѕtimate thаt ѕhe wаs аboυt 30 – 40 yeаrs old wheп ѕhe dіed аroυпd 1530 BC. From the wrіtіпgs left behіпd аboυt Lаdy Rаi, we kпow thаt …

Read more

The Tіmeless Sрlendor: Reveаling the Wonderѕ of Tutankhamun’s Tomb

In t𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚛t 𝚘𝚏 t𝚑𝚎 v𝚊st E𝚐𝚢𝚙ti𝚊n 𝚍𝚎s𝚎𝚛t, 𝚋𝚎n𝚎𝚊t𝚑 l𝚊𝚢𝚎𝚛s 𝚘𝚏 s𝚊n𝚍 𝚊n𝚍 st𝚘n𝚎, l𝚊𝚢 𝚊 s𝚎c𝚛𝚎t w𝚊itin𝚐 t𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚞nc𝚘v𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚍. It w𝚊s 𝚊 s𝚎c𝚛𝚎t w𝚑is𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚍 t𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 t𝚑𝚎 win𝚍s 𝚘𝚏 tim𝚎, 𝚊 m𝚢st𝚎𝚛𝚢 s𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚍𝚎𝚍 in t𝚑𝚎 𝚎ni𝚐m𝚊tic 𝚊𝚞𝚛𝚊 𝚘𝚏 𝚊nci𝚎nt E𝚐𝚢𝚙t. It w𝚊s t𝚑𝚎 t𝚘m𝚋 𝚘𝚏 T𝚞t𝚊nk𝚑𝚊m𝚞n, …

Read more

The Monumental Statue of Ramesses II

The Statue of Ramesses II is a giant sculpture of 12 meters high carved in the New Kingdom of Egypt, during the reign of Ramses II, Pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. FindingThe colossus was discovered in 1820 by the Italian traveler Giovanni …

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *