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A Bible and heresy The Ariostea library keeps a treasure which caused discussions, all the more up-to-date when acquired. Thanks to the information provided by a noted book collector, Renzo Bonfiglioli, in 1959 the Municipality of Ferrara acquired a treasure of history and culture: the Biblia Latina annotated by Girolamo Savonarola, when a novice in Ferrara, between 1479 and 1482.
"Nebbia" by Andrea Veronese Love defeated by political fervour in Ferrara through the 1950 s. The novel Nebbia [Fog] by Andrea Veronese held me enthralled from its very first pages, encouraging me to have it published as part of the Corbo literature series. The book makes an impact right from the very first scenes, where the focus gradually narrows down onto the events that unfolded in Ferrara between 22 October and  8  December 1954, when
Dancing Ferrara dance venues, from debutante balls to Latin-American nights. In his book A question of stature. The story of a boy who grew too much, Gaetano Tumiati brings us back to a Ferrara of the thirties and forties, when young people met in exclusive places to dance the tango, waltz, mazurka, and the rumba.
Update on the Costabili collection The research on collecting never stops. This article will provide an update on the Costabili collection in view of new information that has emerged over the last 10 years on works that have often only been recently identified as forming part of the Costabili collection.
I was born in the F.lli Navarra Agricultural College Or: how I found my forgotten birthplace, during a professional visit I was born in Malborghetto di Boara (Municipality of Ferrara) on 26 December 1926, in the F.lli Navarra agricultural college. My father had taken over management of the college a few months previously, having transferred from the Fabriano agricultural college.

The bust of Ercole II of Este by Spani

Written by  Andrea Marchesi

A payment order confirms the attribution to the sculptor from Reggio nell'Emilia.Details of the marble bust of the Duke Ercole II d’Este.

The room housing the renowned Dossi portraits of Ercole I and Alfonso I of Este in the house of Este art gallery also contains a male bust in Carrara marble, just over one metre high. It is recognised by critics as the only sculpture portraying Duke Ercole II of Este, and has been attributed to the Reggio Emilia artist, Prospero Spani Clementi (1516-1584) due to its style. Spani was well-known for his expressive style which had been borrowed from the language of Michelangelo. The first to investigate authorship of the work was Adolfo Venturi who attributed both the bust and the plinth carved with the anthropomorphic motto of Patience to Alessandro Vittoria. A proposal linking the plinth with Spani Clementi had actually already been made (Ferrari Moreni 1868) and subsequently the herm was also attributed to him (Magnani 1927). The sculpture arrived in Modena in 1629 from the Diamanti building store-room, and had originally been destined for the open gallery in the Patience room, in the northwest tower or Santa Caterina's tower in the Este castle. The duke was born in 1508 and ruled over Ferrara from 1534 to 1559. The sculpture shows him wearing an old-fashioned body armour decorated with a garland on the chest, comprising two branches of intertwined palms, flanked by a caryatid on each side. There is a small engraved cameo at the centre of the breastplate which does not show the feminine features of the personification of Patience, but the distinctDetails of the marble bust of the Duke Ercole II d’Este. features of Saint Michael, acting as the heraldic reference to the Ordre de Saint Michel. This was a French order of knighthood that the duke had been a member of since 1528, when he received the honour from Francois I of Valois. Saint Michael is not the only thing that puts this wonderful marble sculpture into context, we also see Hercules underneath to the right as he holds the vault of heaven. This acts as an iconographic device leading us back to the complicated worldly undertakings of the duke of Ferrara. Just like the mythical hero, the Duke also had to shoulder the burden of governing a State whose very existence depended on the European geopolitical balance. Upon the death of his father in 1534, Ercole was aware of how his rule depended as much on good relations with the Holy See (legitimate owner of Ferrara) as with his links with Carlo V (Modena and Reggio were in fact imperial fiefdoms). In addition good diplomatic relations with Paris were also important. These were due to his close family ties with the French monarchy following his marriage to Renata di Valois (1528) daughter of King Louis XII and sister in law of Francois I, boosting the international prestige of the Ferrara court. We can therefore understand how Patience was considered to be the most important virtue in the house of Este, the main theme behind the iconographic project guiding the architectural restoration of the private areas in the Santa Caterina tower. The "room" or Patience room was the most prestigious area, andDetails of the marble bust of the Duke Ercole II d’Este. emblematic of the castle after a fire had destroyed the residential area near the southeast tower in February 1554. The restoration of the pre-existing areas began in March of that year under the guidance of Girolamo da Carpi, and in April we have the first documentary references of the hitherto unknown presence of Prospero Spani in Ferrara. He would have come to present the duke with the recently completed marble bust, for which he was handsomely paid: one hundred golden scudos as noted in a hand-written note. The bust had probably been commissioned between the end of 1553 and the beginning of 1554. While not mentioned in the note, the engraved plinth with the allegory of Patience was an integral part of the sculpture, and it was definitely sculpted by the same chisel. While it may have come later, it would certainly have been before 3 October 1559 when Ercole II of Este died.