Ferrara, after eight years Palazzo Schifanoia ready for full reopening. The splendid Salone dei Mesi is once again visible

In Ferrara, Palazzo Schifanoia reopens after eight years: the Salone dei Mesi and other important rooms of the Este residence can again be visited.

Palazzo Schifanoia has seen a lot over the past few years: the 2012 Emilia earthquake, much-needed architectural restoration, and the health emergency over the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Now, however, the sumptuous residence of the Este family in Ferrara is ready to reopen and will do so on June 2, with a first partial reopening: the splendid Salone dei Mesi (the only one, along with the Sala degli Stucchi also known as the Sala delle Virtù, to have remained open from March 2013, the date of the partial post-earthquake reopening, until early 2018, when restoration work began) with its frescoes of the 15th-century Ferrara school, where two greats such as Ercole de’ Roberti (Ferrara, 1451/1456 - 1496) and Francesco del Cossa (Ferrara, 1436? - Bologna, 1478), and which was commissioned to be decorated around 1469 by Duke Borso d’Este, and then again the apartments of the duke himself, who with the decorations of the palace wanted to celebrate his governing action.

The public will then be able to see, in the Sala delle Virtù and the Sala delle Imprese, the exhibition Schifanoia and Francesco del Cossa. L’oro degli Estensi, a collection of works pertaining to the Museums of Ancient Art of Ferrara connected to the figure of Borso and a significant selection of “guests” related to the 15th-century school of painting that Roberto Longhi renamed “Officina ferrarese.” the exhibition will thus allow visitors to take a journey among the medals of Pisanello, the sculptures of Domenico di Paris and Guido Mazzoni, and the colors of the Este miniaturists and painters active in the Salone dei Mesi, the enterprise that, as mentioned above, was commissioned by Borso d’Este and followed the iconographic program developed by the court astrologer and librarian Pellegrino Prisciani: a mixture of ancient wisdom, astrology and political pragmatism to exalt the duke’s rule.

Also on display will be the Carthusian Bible ornamented by Guglielmo Giraldi and the Grossi Altarpiece by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi known as Sodoma, executed for the Church of the Conception in Reggio Emilia, a canvas that exemplifies the influence Francesco del Cossa and Ercole de’ Roberti had on late 15th-century northern art.

The rooms will enjoy a new lighting system designed by Alberto Pasetti Bombardella’s Studio Pasetti lighting, a highly regarded specialist in lighting design applied to Cultural Heritage, which will allow the mural paintings to be viewed through a dynamic LED system capable of ranging from homogeneous, museum-like light to specific scenes, offering a novel, immersive and emotional visiting experience aimed at changing the perception of the Salone dei Mesi.

Tickets: Full 10 euros, reduced 8 euros for over 65s, 18-30 year olds who are YoungERcard holders, university students, discounted categories. Free for under 18, disabled people with accompanying persons, journalists, publicists and tour guides with badges, Unife students in their 1st year, free admission on their birthday and to health personnel (doctors, nurses and OSS) working in Covid-19 wards in hospitals in Italy, upon presentation at the ticket offices of self-declaration certifying their personal data and the performance of service at the specific health facility in Covid-19 ward.

Entrance to Palazzo Schifanoia will be possible every day from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Due to prevention measures to counter the spread of Covid-19, entrance to the museum is restricted and will be allowed to a maximum of 15 visitors every 30 minutes. Reservations are strongly recommended (to reserve a ticket, go to the Ferrara Civic Museums website).

Photo: the Salone dei Mesi at Palazzo Schifanoia

Ferrara, after eight years Palazzo Schifanoia ready for full reopening. The splendid Salone dei Mesi is once again visible
Ferrara, after eight years Palazzo Schifanoia ready for full reopening. The splendid Salone dei Mesi is once again visible

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