The ceiling fresco in the staircase of the Würzburg Residence is the largest fresco in the world. nside an unsupported trough vault, it covers a surface area of over 600 m². Tiepolo was specially summoned from Venice for the purpose of decorating the staircase. Its four sides depict allegories of the four continents known at the time, each personified by regal female figures - Europa, Africa, Asia, and America. The center of the ceiling shows Apollo, the Greek god of the sun and protector of the arts. He is orbited by deities representing the planets.
The depiction of Europe can only be seen after the viewer has turned on the first flight of stairs. It is shown as continent of arts and culture, with Würzburg at its centre. A female personification of fame carries a portrait-medallion of Karl Philipp von Greiffenclau zu Vollrads, who was Prince-Bishop of Würzburg from 1749 to 1754 and commissioned the work. The god Hermes is placed as a messenger between the Prince-Bishop and Apollo. In the European scene, Tiepolo also integrated portraits of those involved with the construction of the Residence - architect Balthasar Neumann, stuccoist Antonio Bossi, as well as himself.