Room of the Fire in the Borgo

The room was used in the time of Julius II (pontiff from 1503 to 1513) for the meetings of the highest court of the Holy See: the Segnatura Gratiae et Iustitiae, presided over by the Pope. The paintings on the ceiling, by Pietro Vannucci, called the Perugino, commissioned by the Pope in 1508, are related to this function. At the time of Leo X (pontiff from 1513 to1521) the room was used as a dining room and the task of frescoing the walls was assigned to Raphael who entrusted a large part of the work to his school. The work was completed between 1514 and 1517. The frescoes illustrate the political aspirations of Leo X through stories taken from the lives (narrated in the Liber Pontificalis) of two previous Popes with the same name: Leo III (Crowning of Charlemagne and Justification of Leo III) and Leo IV (Fire in the Borgo and the Battle of Ostia). In all the episodes the Pope is a portrait of the reigning pontiff Leo X. Six seated figures of emperors and sovereigns who are protectors of the church are shown in the monochromes below the paintings.