Tag: Giovanni Battista Bertani in Mantua

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    Piazza Castello

    Piazza Castello, formerly known as Prato di Castello, is one of the most significant squares in the historical center of Mantua. The square is located inside the Ducal Palace, adjacent to the imposing Castello di San Giorgio, and is accessed from Piazza Sordello through a monumental entrance resembling a triumphal arch, frescoed on the inside, work of the architect Antonio Maria Viani.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza Castello was built in the 16th century by the architect Giovanni Battista Bertani, a pupil of Giulio Romano. Bertani was promoted after Romano’s death to the post of prefect of the ducal studio (chief architect) of the Gonzagas, a position he held between 1549 and 1576.   ARCHITECTURE The square is the largest open space inside the Palazzo Ducale complex, and is surrounded on three sides by elegant late 16th-century arcades, probably designed by Bertani, decorated with frescoed festoons of flowers and fruit. Besides the monumental entrance, Antonio Maria Viani is responsible also for the exedra in front of it, once the entrance to the St. Giorgio’s Castle. On the western side of the square, the only one without arcades, are the rooms of the ancient chancellery. To the south of the square, there Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of San Pietro Apostolo

    The Cathedral of San Pietro Apostolo (Duomo di Mantova) is the Cathedral of Mantua, dedicated to Saint Peter, located in Piazza Sordello, between Palazzo Bianchi and Palazzo Ducale.   SHORT HISTORY A first church of early Christian origin was erected on this site in the 5th century, and destroyed by a fire in 894. The church was rebuilt in Romanesque style in the 11th century, probably by Matilda di Canossa, and became the Cathedral of Mantua. The bell tower belongs to this era. The current church was rebuilt and enlarged between 1395 and 1401, at the behest of Francesco I Gonzaga. The splendid long lost marble facade of the church, equipped with a porch, rose windows and pinnacles, designed by Jacobello and Pierpaolo dalle Masegne, can be found in a painting by Domenico Morone preserved in the Ducal Palace. During these years, the Cathedral was flanked by two rows of Gothic chapels, decorated with marble and terracotta spiers and cusps, also designed by Jacobello dalle Masegne, whose wall structure is still visible on the right side of the church. In 1545, the Cathedral was renovated by Giulio Romano, who left the facade and the perimeter walls intact, but substantially modified Read more [...]

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    Castello di San Giorgio

    Castello di San Giorgio (Saint George’s Castle) is a moated rectangular castle in Mantua, located in the northeastern corner of the city. The castle is part of the Ducal Palace.   SHORT HISTORY Castello di San Giorgio was commissioned by Francesco I Gonzaga to the architect Bartolino da Novara, and built on the ruins of the Church of Santa Maria di Capo di Bove between 1395 and 1406. In 1458, the architect Luca Fancelli, at the behest of the Marquis Ludovico II Gonzaga, renovated the castle, which definitively lost its military and defensive functions. The castle was for many years the residence of Isabella d’Este, wife of Francesco II Gonzaga, one of the most famous noblewomen of the Renaissance. As the Lady of the manor, Isabella invited numerous artists and humanists of the time at the castle, such as the painters Andrea Mantegna and Pietro Perugino, the polymath Leonardo da Vinci, or the poets Ludovico Ariosto and Baldassarre Castiglione. The castle remained the Gonzaga residence for about a century, until Guglielmo Gonzaga moved his apartments to the renovated Palazzo Ducale. Starting with 1815, after the Austrian occupation of the city, the castle became a maximum security prison where opponents of Read more [...]