The Sala delle Asse (room VIII of the Museum of Ancient Art)

This renowned room on the ground floor of the Falconiera Tower was not commissioned by Galeazzo Maria, but rather by his brother Ludovico, who entrusted its decoration to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. For this closed room, Leonardo envisaged a bower formed by 18 thickly interlaced trees through which the sky can only be glimpsed. On the walls of the north-eastern corner of the room, rocks split open by the roots of the tree are rendered as monochrome fragments. Three plaques on the ceiling celebrate defining moments of Ludovico il Moro's reign: the alliance with Emperor Maximilian, made possible by the marriage of his niece Bianca Maria Sforza in 1493 with the sovereign himself; the confirmation of his ducal title in 1495 and the request for assistance made by Moro to the Emperor to counter the King of France, Charles the VIII. A fourth plaque, erased during the restoration of the 1950s, commemorated the capitulation of Milan to King Louis the XII and was added after il Moro's escape in 1499. This painted room, one of Milan's most iconic works, was discovered between 1893 and 1894.