Centring on the Este Palace in Sassuolo, this volume brings together a top-quality photo campaign and contributions by renowned scholars, guiding readers on a tour of this enchanted palace, the seat of memorable celebrations and fanciful, ephemeral apparatuses.
Having lost the "delights" that adorned the territory of Ferrara when it passed to the Holy See in 1598, the Este family sought to acquire a new summer residence and so chose Sassuolo, recently annexed to their duchy. The fascinating Emilian Versailles can finally be visited again after years of restoration, and this book showcases its splendor and magnificence. Painted and decorated by a team of extraordinary artists, including Frenchman Jean Boulanger (the official court painte)r, Angelo Michele Colonna and Agostino Mitelli, among the leading quadratura painters of Bologna, and a large number of skilled decorators and sculptorsincluding Luca Colombi and Lattanzio Maschio, the rooms of the Ducal Palace emerge from the pages, wonder after wonder, reflecting the ambitious and patronage-oriented spirit of Francesco I, who commissioned them. Allegorical themes and episodes from the Este family history intertwine on the walls and ceilings of the rooms, where mythological heroes and characters from classical and chivalrous literature converge, all united to express the exalting program of the Este nobility and "good government."