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Florestano Vancini : a memoir Hit by a thunderbolt that determined a career and style of life. “In my day, it made a difference whether you were born and raised inside or outside the walls. Ferrara seemed to be a fortified place compared to that limitless countryside, poor and hard-working, and my father was only the Boara postman….” Florestano Vancini, who died on 18 September 2008 last, was physically born inside the walls, on 24 August 1926 in the hospital. However he was raised in Boara, the first village on the road to Copparo, and not “inside” the walled city.
Boldini in Paris The relationship between Boldini and French Impressionism will be explored in this great exhibition. Boldini painted a fascinating picture called Cantante mondana [“Society singer”] in the mid-1880s. It shows a snapshot of the Paris of the late nineteen-hundreds - the life, the cafés and the music halls that the artist patronised along with his friends and fellow-painters like Degas - and as such lay outside the area for which he was renowned, namely portrait painting.
It's all in the blood Impromptu thoughts of a "Dolomite-Po Valley man" My mother was tall and slim, with a consciously understated beauty; on the contrary, my athletic father was well aware of his good looks, tanned by the Cortina sun. She was from a good Ferrara family, had a diploma from the music conservatory and was anything but sporty; he was a ski and ice-hockey champion and mountain climber, from a modest family who were photography pioneers in this remote corner of Italy.
Story of a insolvent bank Luigi Franceschini and the "Piccolo Credito" bank, as remembered by his son. This is a nice “vintage” photograph taken at the San Girolamo Piazza eighty years ago.  It is a  souvenir photo with a certain historical interest: the  three people on  the right were very important characters in the story of  the insolvency of a Ferrara  bank, the  “ Piccolo   Credito ” : my  father,  the lawyer   Luigi   Franceschini,  who  was  the  receiver  appointed  by   the  Court   of   Ferrara ;   to  his  right,
Mystery and blades of grass in Filippo De Pisis The re-emergence of the herbarium collected by the Ferrara painter as a young man. The artistic sensibility of many leading cultural figures was cultivated by collecting grasses, herbs and flowers stalks, to then smoothen them out and press them between sheets of blotting paper:Obviously the great naturalists were enthusiasts, but world-famous thinkers also shared this hobby (Rousseau,Goethe,von Chamisso and Hesse), as well as poets,

Rediscovery of a collection of files

Written by  Barbara Ghelfi

The valuable archival documents rom the Este family.The Ferrara Office papers in the secret Modena archive of the House of Este.

Funded by the Hermitage Italia Foundation, I am investigating the circumstances surrounding the collection of Antonio Lombardo’s reliefs for Alfonso I’s rooms in the Via Coperta (passage connecting the old ducal palace to the Este castle) and now kept at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. This involves the methodical consultation of the documentation belonging to the secret House of Este archive in the State Archives of Modena, and while carrying out the research I came across an important set of unpublished papers which I believe will throw new light on the historical artistic events going on in Ferrara in the sixteen and seventeen-hundreds. When Cesare d’Este left the city in 1598, he had the library, part of the picture gallery and the archives transferred to Modena, leaving the rest of the documents in Ferrara. Once Ferrara passed to the papal states, he began to manage the Ferrara and Modena based archives separately, and the ‘Ferrara Office’ as it became later known, took over management of the assets remaining locally. These assets included both the Castalderie [farming estates] located around the area, and public buildings such as the Palazzo di Corte and the Palazzo dei Diamanti. After the family transferred to Modena, part of the archive used for house management was used also as a storage file: the administrator that acted on behalf of the Este family had to have the administrative records atThe valuable archival documents rom the Este family. hand in order to manage the business dealings and to record the privileges granted by the Holy See in the Ferrara area. The file collection now comprises 160 portfolios that contain the correspondencebetween the Ferrara officials and the Modena court. These have been partially studied by scholars. It also contains 320 unpublished accounting registers. In addition to the registers regarding the Castalderie (Copparo, Belriguardo, Diamantina, Sariano and Vaccolino among others), there are records of income and expenditures, debtors and creditors, a considerable number of registers with orders involving the management of the Este properties in the Ferrara area: rent books, bank registers, livestock registers and various records regarding the assets. The existence of an independent Ferrara office is a significant finding: up to now, we were unaware that the Este assets in Ferrara were managed separately from the sixteenhundreds on. The extensive amount of documentation found, all of which is well preserved, covers the period between 1598 and 1732. A more detailed picture will emerge only once the cataloguing has been completed. At that point we will be able to analyse the internal structure of the series, however, as opposed to what had previously been thought, we can already see that all the ducal assets in the Ferrara area were accounted for on an independent basis by the Diamante Office, an institution that came under an economic-financial bank managed by families that alternated over the years such as the Algarottis, Aventis, Orsinis and Zerbinatis. In addition to managing the assets, caring for the livestock, collecting the rents and censuses, the Office received the amounts  necessary  to carry  out  the countless maintenance works on public buildings and decorating enterprises promoted by the duke and the court. As I researched information on the Lombardy marbles used to decorate the rooms, in addition to recreating the events surrounding their transfer to Modena and discovering when this was done, (in 1634 and 1640), I was able to discover valuable information on the great quantities of art pieces transported to the new capital, and on a significant group of building and decorating enterprises promoted in Ferrara in the first half of the sixteen-hundreds. I would like to provide a detailed account of this new information, ranging from the payments for the transfer of theAntonio Lombardo, La contesa tra Minerva e Nettuno per il possesso dell’Attica, moved from Ferrara to Modena. pictures that decorated the Via Coperta and the Palazzo dei Diamanti to Modena (we can reveal that the renaissance pictures included paintings by masters such as Scarsellino and Carlo Bononi), decorating companies under new management, and the maintenance and restoration of buildings inside and outside the town walls. This will require further research, which will be documented to the public through the pages of this magazine. This goes to demonstrate that even though the Estes were far away from their old capital, and decided to transfer ornamental units such as the court chapel to Modena or Cesare’s rooms to Palazzo dei Diamanti, they continued to be actively involved in the embellishment of public buildings.