A visual narrative traced the events relating to the origins of the House of Este; its patronage and humanist culture, its splendor, its collections, the incredible web of relationships with coeval courts both in Italy and Europe due to blood bonds and clever diplomacy, their appeal to craftsmen, writers, scholars and musicians, and the University they established in 1309. The exhibition displayed over 150 works (paintings, sculptures, ceramics, historical and literary documents and illuminated manuscripts) and included works by Cosmè Tura, Francesco del Cossa, Ercole de' Roberti, Donatello, Mantegna and Tiziano. The exhibition setup formed an itinerary marked out by walls fitted out and painted old-rose, that housed display cases and shelves. The spaces remained recognizable, with their ceilings - often decorated or frescoed - left in plain view. The lighting was provided by network voltage halogen bulbs, fitted onto a twin-cabled support system with sandblasted protective glass. The emission of light from the fixtures in all directions allowed the works to be viewed without shadows or noticeable chiaroscuro effects. The installation of dimmers allowed luminance values to be maintained in conformance to regulations. Furthermore, the overhead lights marked off and guided the route, creating a slightly “starry” effect and allowing optimal viewing of the frescoes.


Ferrara, Estense Castle
Una corte nel rinascimento
General lighting

w/ Arch. G. Aulenti
Photo: P. Castiglioni