Ferrara School of Painting
Contemporary art of the past times
The Ferrara school experienced its heyday in the 15—16th centuries
The National Pinacoteca of Ferrara can cause a real culture shock at a connoisseur of painting: the faces, subjects, details, techniques in the paintings have much in common with modern art, but the canvases dateback to the 14—15th centuries! It seems that the representatives of the Ferrara school took the best from painting of all times and peoples (especially Italian), and put it together.
The style, the allegory, the extraordinarinessDuke Leonello and his son Borso d’Este were fond of astrology, esotericism, mysticism. This influenced the Ferrarans' choice of subjects and the artistic language filled with allegory.
You can hardly define the exact features of the Ferrara school — it is, rather, a certain style, handwriting, mood that unites the artists.
To catch its features, it is important to look at a dozen or two paintings. By the way, Ferrara residents often painted churches, so that their works are scattered all over Italy, like some kind of road signs that combine individual visits to museums into a large Italian artistic journey.
You do not confuse the Ferrara school and
You are a layman if:
You don’t know that the Ferrara school of painting is not a separate direction, but a group of Renaissance artists who lived and worked in Ferrara. The style can exaggeratedly be called a fusion of the
Significant worksLorenzo Costa, The Triumph of Death, 1490 — Bentivoglio Chapel in a monastery in Bologna.
Cosimo Tura, Calliope was created to decorate the Belfort Palace near Ferrara, which belonged to the d’Este dukes. London National Gallery.
Garofalo, Baby Jesus Sleeping, 1550 — this icon is daring even by modern standards, because everything is too lively, too mundane in it, without the usual grave countenance of the saints. The Louvre.
Dosso Dossi, Portrait of Alfonso I d’Este is an excellent example of how the representatives of the school presented their portraits in an unusual way. Gallery of Modena.
Priceless, but...Almost all of the works of the Ferrara School are kept in museums and pinacotecas. On average, a painting by an artist of that era is estimated at 20 to 35 million dollars.
What a story!
In the Belfort Palace, there was a room that Leonello d’Este conceived as a space where one can devote time to his hobbies — the "studiolo". For the design of the studiolo, the Count commissioned allegorical portraits of nine muses in unusual roles. For example, Polyhymnia the patroness of the hymns works in the field, and wingless cherubs of strange appearance dance around Terpsichore. There are similar works in the Chapel of the Muses and Free Arts in Rimini.
Unfortunately, the palace burned down in a fire in 1662, and the paintings scattered around the world.
At present day, we know where 8 of them are stored.