Una corte nel rinascimento


The Estense Castle in Ferrara hosts two exhibitions where the light is now soft with "naked" halogen lamps stretched on cables, now it is more punctual, respecting the fragility of the works




Estense Castle, Ferrara – Italy


Gae Aulenti Associates

Two exhibitions mark the annual exhibition program of the Estense Castle, in Ferrara.
The first combines the marble reliefs that decorated the study of Alfonso I d'Este, now divided between the Hermitage Museum, the Louvre Museum and the collection of the Prince of Lichtenstein. Executed by Antonio Lombardo between 1507 and 1515, they decorated the Via Coperta which connects the Castle with the Ducal Palace.
The setup, in the Hall of Coats of Arms, includes high equipped perimeter walls in white marble with shelves for the works, some protected by display cases, some on pedestals, others inserted in display cases. The "Scintilla" lighting system with naked halogen lamps, stretched on a double cable, protected by sandblasted glass produces a soft lighting that light-darks the works in a natural and serene way. The lighting values ​​are regulated in "crescendo", lower in the first section (where a drawing, already protected by glass, is displayed), higher in the second and of greater intensity in the third, as to prepare the exiting visitor for sunlight . The white marble walls create a slight contrast with the "lived" marbles of the works, reflect and mirror the sources, increasing the sense of general brightness.
The second, however, is a visual narrative that covers the events of the origins of the House of Este, the patronage, the humanist culture, the magnificence, the collecting, the exceptional web of relationships with the contemporary Italian and European courts due to the ties of blood and skilled diplomacy, to the calls of artisans, writers, scholars, musicians, to the University founded in 1309. The exhibition displays over 150 works (paintings, sculptures, ceramics, historical and literary documents, illuminated manuscripts) works by Cosmè Tura, Francesco del Cossa, Ercole de' Roberti, Donatello, Mantegna, Titian….
The setup builds a path delimited by equipped walls, painted in antique pink, which house display cases and shelves, maintaining the recognisability of the spaces while leaving the view of the ceilings, often decorated or frescoed, free. The lighting is provided by mains voltage halogen sources, mounted on a double conductor support cable system, with etched protective glass. The omnidirectional emission of the lamps allows the works to be viewed in the absence of shadows and marked light/dark effects. The provision of intensity variators allows you to maintain the lighting values ​​required by law. Furthermore, the sign of the stringers delimits and guides the path, creates a light "starry" effect and allows for excellent reading of the frescoes.