Ferrara, a new museum at Palazzo Schifanoia: 170 masterpieces from the 15th to the 18th century in 11 rooms

Palazzo Schifanoia reopens with a new museum: 170 works from the 15th to the 18th century in eleven rooms. Sgarbi: "A great rebirth."

Nine years after the earthquake that struck Emilia, Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara is home to a new museum. The latter consists of eleven rooms spread over an area of 850 square meters and 170 masterpieces intended to tell the story of art and history from the 15th to the 18th century. From the age of Borso and Ercole I D’Este to the sixteenth-century period of Alfonso I, through the devolution, to the great sacred painting of baroque Ferrara and the classicist painting of Cardinal Riminaldi. Also, Pisanello’s medals, miniatures by Guglielmo Giraldi, sculptures by Niccolò Baroncelli and Domenico di Paris, and canvases by Carlo Bononi and Scarsellino. The museum tour concludes with marbles and bronzes imported from Rome in the 18th century with the bust of Leopoldo Cicognara by Antonio Canova.

Vittorio Sgarbi, president of Ferrara Arte, commented, “Schifanoia today finds a truly great rebirth,” retracing the path that from the new lighting of the Salone dei Mesi, passing through the exhibition of Francesco Del Cossa, the gold of the Este family, arrives at the current arrangements, “rich in works that have never been exhibited.” A continuous path through the halls with displays that go through miniatures and great Renaissance paintings, such as the Pala Grossi, to the exhibitions of Riminaldi marbles, and the bust of Cicognara by Canova in the last hall “which opens to the prospect,” said the president of Ferrara Arte, “of the Canovian celebrations that will end in 2022.” Sgarbi also announced, "It is my intention to exhibit at Schifanoia the volume with drawings by Giuseppe Antonio Ghedini, titled Illustrazioni per il Riciardetto (Illustrations for the Riciardetto), which I have decided to purchase with the Foundation that I preside over, imagining that I will be able to propose the reproduced images of this interesting document."

Councillor Marco Gulinelli added that this “is another important stage in the restitution of Schifanoia to the city and the country: in fact, the reopening of the 15th-century portion is accomplished, and in September we will reopen the 14th-century one, the oldest wing of the palace, built by Alberto V d’Este, with other masterpieces and other stories to tell. This is the beginning of a journey that will be fully realized with an entirely redesigned, new exhibition itinerary based on a dialectical relationship between container and content. A turning point from the past, bringing full continuity and linearity of exhibition.” “It is not just an archive of memory,” continued Gulinelli, “but a living and renewed museum that gives itself to new visitors in a unique experience.”

Finally, Giovanni Sassu, head of Ferrara’s museums of ancient art, concluded, “The time has come to no longer separate Schifanoia from the function that Adolfo Venturi and Giuseppe Agnelli envisioned for the palace at the end of the 19th century: that of a Civic Museum, the first modern museum in Ferrara, enriched over time to become one of the most varied in Italy.”

Image: Palazzo Schifanoia, Salone dei Mesi: view of the north and east walls. Ph. Credit Henrik Blomqvist

Ferrara, a new museum at Palazzo Schifanoia: 170 masterpieces from the 15th to the 18th century in 11 rooms
Ferrara, a new museum at Palazzo Schifanoia: 170 masterpieces from the 15th to the 18th century in 11 rooms

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