press release

The Quattrocento saw a renewal of artistic language throughout the peninsula. In Ferrara, the Este sought elegance, refinement, the aristocratic and exceptional, sometimes mixing the strange and the enigmatic with the new sense of volume, often using metallic colours. Cosmè Tura, Francesco del Cossa, Ercole da Roberti, and Dosso Dossi formed a remarkable school of painters who are still strikingly modern even today (Dosso Dossi, New York 1999; Dosso Dossi, L.A., 1999; Ercole de Roberti, L.A., 1999; Cosmè Tura, Boston, 2002; Le Muse e il principe, Milan, 1991).

But Lionello, Borso, Francesco and Lucrezia Borgia erected no barriers between the different forms of artistic expression; they appreciated music, architecture and the theatre, which they mingled together. They encouraged innovative and complex music of Josquin des Prés and Frescobaldi.

It is no accident that Ferrara was the birthplace of the chivalric romance, which represented the Este ideal of life: Ariosto's Orlando Furioso and Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata are among the best-known works of the Italian Renaissance.

During the two centuries of the Renaissance the city of Ferrara was planned and developed by the ducal house along geometric lines in a way that was totally unique in Europe. 16 metre wide avenues were created, with the first pavements in Europe (D. Fernandez, ’97).

As well as the ducal castle and the famous Palazzo dei Diamanti, there are the birthplaces of Savonarola and Frescobaldi, the remains of Delizie such as the Palazzo Schifanoia which 'chased out boredom', where the Este Dukes repaired for pleasure and relaxation, and which has preserved a collection of frescoes which is among the most remarkable in all Italy.

The exhibition traces the evolution of the medieval town into an astonishingly modern Renaissance town, and reveals the hidden details of the Schifanoia frescoes.

Astonishing too was the ability of the court to assimilate new and foreign influences: they attracted Fouquet, Van der Weyden, Mantegna, Bellini (Jacopo and Giovanni), Alberti, Piero della Francesca. The exhibition will bring together more than 300 works, including pictures, weapons, tapestries, miniatures etc. Pressetext

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An exceptional Renaissance - The Court of the Este in Ferrara
Ausstellung im Rahmen des Festivals Europalia
mit Werken von Dosso Dossi, Jacopo Bellini, Giovanni Bellini, Rogier van der Weyden, Andrea Mantegna, Piero della Francesca, u.a.
Kollaboration : Comune di Ferrara, Provincia di Ferrara
Ort: Palais des Beaux-Arts, Rue Royale 10