This exhibition brought together the marble reliefs that used to decorate the small study of Alfonso I d’Este, today divided between the Hermitage Museum, the Louvre Museum and the Prince of Lichtenstein Collection. Created by Antonio Lombardo between 1507 and 1515, they once decorated the covered walkway connecting the Castle to the Duke’s Palace. The Coat of Arms Room featured white marble perimeter walls fitted with shelves for holding works of art, some guarded in cases, others on stands, and others still placed inside glass display cases. The “Scintilla” lighting system, featuring naked halogen bulbs fixed to twin cables and sheltered by sandblasted glass, produced soft lighting that cast a gentle and natural chiaroscuro effect onto the works. The luminance values increased throughout the exhibition. They were lower in the first section (where a drawing was displayed and protected by glass), brighter in the second section, and brighter still in the third, as if to prepare visitors for the sunlight outside. The white marble walls produced a gentle contrast with the “worn out” marble of the works and reflected and mirrored the light sources to increase the general sense of brightness.


Ferrara, Estense Castle
La Sala Alabastro
General indoor lighting

Gae Aulenti Associati
Photo: P. Castiglioni