Written by  Alfredo Santini
The restoration of the Last Judgement by Bastianino in the apsidal semi-dome of the Cathedral represented a chance for the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara to preserve one of the most significant works in the city's cultural heritage.

The age of Alfonso II has also been called the age of Tasso: and rightly so if we consider the extraordinary influence that this great poet's work had on western culture. Bastianino's destiny is a complex one: after the triumphs of his own time, his memory was wrapped in a veil of forgetfulness that metaphorically corresponds to the layer of "fog" with which he was wont to envelop his paintings. His return to the centre of the stage was a feat accomplished in the Twentieth century, thanks to Roberto Longhi, Francesco Arcangeli, Jadranka Bentini, and Andrea Emiliani.

The exhibition devoted to Bastianino, curated by Ms Bentini, introduced critics and the general public alike to the refined complexity of this painter; the subsequent exhibition on Tasso, Titian and "il parlar disgiunto" analysed how Tasso's great stylistic innovation was absorbed on a pictorial level by a series of great late Sixteenth-century artists, Bastianino included. The recent restoration, the various conferences throughout the year devoted to the painter, the international conference, and this issue of our magazine have combined to reinstate Bastianino in his rightful place in the historical record and in the memory of the people of Ferrara and the world.

In order to obtain a homogeneity that might give the consistency of a book to the essays - all on Bastianino - presented in this issue we have chosen to favour continuity over variety. It is our hope therefore that readers will not take us to task for this departure from the model established by the other twelve issues, but will appreciate our intention to make this a number to be treasured for the quality of the contributions it contains and as a memento of the historic occasion for which it was created. As is the case with this issue, the scientific co-ordination of the exhibitions on Bastianino is the work of Gianni Venturi. A special thanks goes to the cultural associations Amici dei Musei e Monumenti ferraresi and Ferrariae Decus, both of which have done so much to encourage the rediscovery of Bastianino.