The Art and Architecture of Mantua

The Art and Architecture of Mantua

Eight Centuries of Patronage and Collecting

  1. Barbara Furlotti
  2. Guido Rebecchini
See Inside
  • ISBN 9780500514429
  • 32.00 x 27.90 cm
  • Hardback
  • 280pp
  • With 214 illustrations
  • First published 2008
‘Lavishly produced … the images have been chosen carefully and constitute a visual essay in themselves … scholarly but accessible text … [an] excellent introduction to the artistic splendours of Mantua’ – Art Quarterly


‘A delight to the eye’ – The Art Newspaper


‘Sumptuous production of the glories of this Renaissance gem’ – RA Magazine


‘The photographs of the city’s treasures are wonderfully seductive, hushed and tranquil … Buy this book’ – Brian Sewell, The World of Interiors


‘Learned, perceptive and sumptuously illustrated … an exceptional account of the town, the Gonzagas and their great artists’ – The Times Higher Education Supplement

Mantua is one of Italy’s most dazzling artistic cities.

Its rich cultural legacy lives on in its beautifully restored frescoes and in the collections of some of the world’s greatest museums. These priceless works of art appear together here in an outstanding and important publication.

New photographs, many specially taken following important restoration work, reveal superb detail and bring the city and its treasures to life.

Mantua has attracted a long line of prestigious artists and architects, including Pisanello, Alberti, Giulio Romano, Correggio and Rubens. The city is closely identified with Andrea Mantegna, whose technical mastery revolutionized painting in the fifteenth century, but the city’s art and architecture also embraces early Gothic masterpieces and the exuberance of the Baroque. The zenith of the city’s artistic prestige coincided with the arrival from Rome in 1524 of Giulio Romano, Raphael’s most brilliant student, who was responsible for one of the most important monuments of fifteenth century Mannerist art, the Palazzo Te.

The patronage and power of the illustrious Gonzaga family, who ruled Mantua for nearly four centuries (1328–1708), attracted a stream of outstanding artists, and they succeeded in amassing one of the most enviable collections in Europe. As the Gonzagas’ power waned in the seventeenth century, parts of their collection were sold off. Charles I of England purchased many of the best pieces, including Mantegna’s 'The Triumphs of Caesar', now at Hampton Court.

Barbara Furlotti has collaborated on numerous research projects and publications on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian art. Guido Rebecchini teaches at the University of Siena and has contributed to numerous publications on sixteenth-century art in Rome and Mantua.