Duke Borso d’Este (1459-1471) commissioned the painters of Ferrara to create a cycle of frescos representing the twelve months, as well as scenes from the life of his court, to decorate all the walls of the “Sala dei Mesi”. The hall, rectangular in shape, large in size and 6.2 m high, features a wooden ceiling with decorated crossbeams and a row of windows on both longitudinal sides. Curtains made out of diffusing fabric help mitigate daylight, eliminating the projection of light from the windows onto the floor and giving a sense of order without creating contrast or a chiaroscuro effect. The lighting system uses a single fixture, designed for the purpose: a titanium column, (as titanium is a poor heat conductor), 85cm high with a rectangular base ballasted by a lead counterweight and fixed to the ground. It houses halogen light bulbs with built-in optics that are pointed towards the walls. 28 of these columns have been installed around the perimeter of the hall, connected by electrical cables that serve both as a unifying visual element and to keep the public at a distance. The frescos have luminance values of 150 lux, with homogeneous light distribution and optimal color rendition.
Schifanoia Palace - The Hall of the Months
General interior lighting
Photo: P. Castiglioni