The Art of Mantua: Power and Patronage in the Renaissance - The Courtauld Institute of Art

The Art of Mantua: Power and Patronage in the Renaissance

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Art History Short Courses
Saturday Study Day

The Art of Mantua: Power and Patronage in the Renaissance

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, King’s Cross, London

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A Renaissance man in furs. Half-length portrait.

Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (after Raphael), 1630 © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

  • Saturday 14 March 2020
    PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
    11:00 am - 3:00 pm

    The Courtauld Institute of Art, WC1X 9EW

Speakers include

  • Dr Barbara Furlotti - The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Dr Guido Rebecchini - The Courtauld Institute of Art


Our Saturday Study Events offer an intense engagement with works of art in their cultural contexts. They are led by one, two or more expert speakers and happen once a term. This day is dedicated to the exploration of the rich artistic heritage of the small but influential city of Mantua, in Lombardy.

What transformed this provincial town into a pre-eminent and innovative centre of the arts was above all the cultural politics of the ducal Gonzaga family, who ruled Mantua from 1328 until 1708. Their generous, strategically employed patronage attracted leading artists from the main centres of Renaissance Italy. In 1459, Ludovico Gonzaga induced Andrea Mantegna to come to Mantua, where he was to produce many of his most important works and where he remained until his death in 1506. Mantegna was followed by the Florentine architect Leon Battista Alberti, who designed two of the grandest and most original churches of the century: the Basilica of Sant’Andrea and San Sebastiano. The presence in Mantua of the illustrious Isabella d’Este, wife of Francesco II Gonzaga, her passion for collecting works of art and her lavishly decorated studioli (private studies) further strengthened the city’s prestige, which was then consolidated in the sixteenth century by Giulio Romano. Working in Mantua for over a decade, he left a varied artistic legacy whose crowning glory is the Palazzo Te, which became known as a paradigm of courtly sophistication throughout Europe. Changing power relations brought about a decline in the fortunes of the Gonzaga and of the city in the seventeenth century, when the best works of the ducal collection were sold to King Charles I and eventually came to form the core of the British royal collection.

Our speakers: Dr Barbara Furlotti and Dr Guido Rebecchini lecture on Renaissance Italian art at The Courtauld. They are specialists on the subject and have dedicated many publications to the arts and the court of Mantua.


£45 (£40 concessions). Includes refreshments.

Attendance is free for participants of Dr Rebecchini’s Mantua Study Tour

Venue: The Courtauld, Vernon Square Campus, Penton Rise, London WC1X 9EW

For further information please contact or t: +44 (0)203 9477 650

Download Provisional Timetable

Provisional Timetable 14 March 2020

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