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Herculean Ferrara
Ercole d'Este (1471–1505) and the Invention of a Ducal Capital


Part of Cambridge Studies in Italian History and Culture

  • Date Published: August 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521522632

$ 86.99

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About the Authors
  • Ercole d'Este (1471–1505) is perhaps best known as the father of Isabella d'Este, marchioness of Mantua, but his court in Ferrara was one of the most glittering in Renaissance Italy. He was an extremely prolific builder and laid out plans which doubled the size of the city. He was also the leader in the revival of classical theatre, an enthusiastic patron of musicians, and a creator of magnificent court spectacles. Very little survives to testify to Ercole's achievements, largely on account of a devastating earthquake in 1570, but considerable archival evidence has been used to re-establish the duke's achievements and the extent to which he was personally involved in his patronage. This evidence runs contrary to many currently held assumptions, and although Herculean Ferrara deals with one court and one ruler it also challenges some of the basic notions about the relationship between artist and patron during the Renaissance.

    • An illustrated reappraisal of the artistic aims and achievements of Ercole d'Este
    • Runs counter to many standard ideas about Ercole and his role in the remodelling of Ferrara
    • Based on extensive archival material, used to forward new arguments about Ercole and about the nature of patronage in the Renaissance
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    ' … imaginative, sensibly organised and well presented.' The Court Historian

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521522632
    • length: 568 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 194 x 30 mm
    • weight: 1kg
    • contains: 60 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    1. The d'Este of Ferrara
    2. The Estense inheritance
    3. The ducal palace
    4. The ducal capital
    5. Court errant: the itinerant court
    6. Princely piety
    7. The decoration and furnishing of palaces
    8. The ephemera of magnificence
    9. As the duke commands
    Plans and genealogical table
    Abbreviations and the currency of Ferrara
    Inventory of registers of the camera ducale

  • Author

    Thomas Tuohy

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