The Pope’s Chamber is situated in the heart of the Angel Tower, between the Chamberlain’s Chamber and the Upper Treasury, and contain part of the treasure and a library.
This room is divided up by moving partition walls. The Pope usually slept here with attendants called cubiculars who served him. He sometimes gave private audiences here, too. The room is ventilated by a tall opening near the corner fireplace, and gets its light from two windows covered simply with wax-coated fabric stretched on wooden frames and, in some cases, embellished with painted decorative motifs. The account ledgers mention several payments made to glass painters, but refer only to the chapels and rooms in which ceremonies were held. The stained glass windows that you see here are reproductions.
The furniture is 14th and 16th century, but is not from the Palace. In Clement VII’s time, the room contained a bed ith crushed velvet and emerald taffeta curtains, a chair, a table, a stool and a number of chests lining the walls containing linen for the Pope’s use. As all the Popes were very fond of birds, they sometimes kept caged nightingales in their rooms.
Beneath the ceiling, of which only four beams are original, runs a quatrefoil freize with illegible motifs. Against a blue background, abundant vine and oak leaves intertwine, populated with birds and squirrels. Like the painted draperies of the crepidomas, these tempera paintings were extensively restored in 1934.
These decorations may have been executed between 1336 and 1337. However, a good deal of controversy surrounds the dates and the artists who worked on them. It may be assumed that some were carried out by a French studio, under Jean d’Albon. The abstract pictorial space and the lack of perspective are well and truly in the French tradition. However, the upper register of the walls and especially the motifs on the window recesses, which were not done schematically, but in perspective, that is they appear to be in actual space, are in the Italian tradition.
|AVIGNON TOURISME 2009 | TOUS DROITS DE REPRODUCTION RESERVES|