The rooms making up the apartment on the first floor of the Palazzo, were used by the Conservators, or magistrates, for activities connected to their office; they therefore form a single entity, both as regards their function and their ornamental features. The rooms were also used for Public and Private Council meetings.
The rich decoration of these reception rooms (frescoes, stuccoes, carved ceilings and doors, tapestries) has as its main theme the history of Ancient Rome, from its foundation to the Republican Age.
The earliest cycle of frescoes goes back to the beginning of the XVI century.
The main floor of the Palace houses the Ceremonial Rooms of the Conservators, also known as the Apartment.
They are the oldest part of the Palace: some rooms preserve parts of the series of frescoes painted at the beginning of the XVI century, whereas the decorations of the other rooms were renewed after Michelangelo’s renovation.
The whole decoration of the Apartment, though it was painted separately and subsequently, present a uniform appearance dedicated to the extolling and memory of the virtues and value of the Ancients.
Some ancient bronze sculptures were also installed in these rooms: they were presented by Pope Sixtus IV to the Roman people due to their symbolic value, in memory of the greatness of Rome which the papal government intended to renew.
The donation of the Sistine bronzes is considered to be the foundation of Capitoline Museums, since then several works of art, sculpture and paintings of value, were collected in the Capitol.
Conservators' Apartment - Chapel
The chapel is dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, patron saints of Rome, who are portrayed in the ceiling frescoes that were executed at the same time as the stucco decorations by Michele Alberti and Jacopo Rocchetti in the third decade of the XVI century.
The painting is on slate and shows Our Lady in glory between Saints Peter and Paul, who place the city of Rome under the protection of the Virgin. Paintings portraying the four Evangelists and other saints completed the decoration of the Chapel in the seventeenth century.
The recent renovation allowed to reassemble the ancient chapel of the Palazzo that had suffered remarkable damages in the years.
The small room, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the Saints Peter and Paul, was decorated with gilded stuccoes in the years 1575-1578 by the painters Michele Alberti and Jacopo Rocchetti. On the vault there are frescoes depicting scenes from the lives of the two patron saints of the city.
In the same years, Marcello Venusti painted the main altarpiece with the Virgin Mary in Glory between Saint Peter and Saint Paul: the apostles commend the city of Rome to the protection of the Virgin.
Facing the window on the long wall, there is a the fresco of the Madonna with child by Andrea di Assisi, detached from the fifteenth-century loggia of the Palazzo, covering a golden grating intended to connect the Chapel with the adjacent Hall of the Captains.
The altar frontal, inlaid with coloured marbles and with the coat of arms of the pope, was completed during the years of Urban VIII’s pontificate (1623 - 1644 ); moreover, in the same period, it was accomplished the decoration of the Chapel with paintings of the Roman school representing the Evangelists and the saints venerated in the city.