The room’s iconographic theme, Susanna and the Elders, is uncommon for a 16th-century decorative cycle. Four episodes are narrated in the centre of each wall: Susanna surprised by the elders; Susanna led before Daniel; Daniel questioning the elders and discovering their deception; The stoning of the elders.
The episode of Susanna and the Elders, over the window, was later repainted when the existing frescoes had to be modified to accommodate the window.
The story of Susanna falls within the general topos of the struggle between vice and virtue which is the theme of the iconographic programme of this and the other rooms in the Palazzo Poggi. Daniel’s condemnation of the elders alludes to the victory of divine wisdom, a victory that is achieved through the trials – in this case, false accusations – faced by the innocent Susanna.
The four episodes, surrounded by bronze caryatids, are alternated with fake architectural niches with prophets, whereas male figures in sculptural poses, reminiscent of Michelangelo’s nudes are situated along the sides.
Given the Michelangelesque architecture, it seems likely that the cartoons were designed by Pellegrino Tibaldi and they were repeated several times in reverse (1527-1596).
The restoration has revealed that several artists were involved in the work, notably Giovan Francesco Bezzi, called Nosadella (?-1571). The discovery the signature felice, incised in the fresh plaster under one of the caryatids, opens up new questions and problems regarding the attribution of these works.