Its ceiling fresco is displayed within a painted frame or quadro riportato
and depicts from right to left, Aurora (Dawn)
in a golden billowing dress with her garlands flies over a dim-lit landscape, leading a blond Apollo in his horse-drawn chariot, surrounded by a chain of female "hours", bringing light to the world. It could also be described as the Triumph of Apollo led by the Aurora
. Above the quadriga
, in the sky, flies the putto Phosphorus
with a torch. Zephyrs blow winds at either end.
One interpretation of the work is that the incorporated heraldic symbols were meant to link the patron Scipione with Apollo, his patronage bringing "light to the darkness." It may have served to uphold the ravenous Borghese accumulation of classical antiquities.
The style of the work is classically restrained and mimics poses from ancient Roman sarcophagi
, that were on display in the cardinal's collection. Others have noted how the painting echoes in part a bas-relief at the Arch of Constantine
showing Apollo in a Quadriga with Phosphorus.