The Art of Mantua: Power and Patronage in the Renaissance by Barbara Furlotti & Guido Rebecchini
folio. pp. 278. profusely illustrated. index. hardcover. dw. (near fine - light wear to corrners). Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008.
ISBN-10: 0892368403 / ISBN 13: 9780892368402
This book traces the rich history of the northern Italian city of Mantua, from its mythic origins in Dante's Inferno, to its cultural heyday during the Renaissance under the patronage of the powerful Gonzaga family, to its eventual decline and annexation by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The fortunes of Mantua rose and fell with those of the Gonzaga family, who ruled as imperial vicars from the fourteenth to the early seventeenth century. They transformed the city into a major cultural center by commissioning works from the master architects and artists of the day such as Leon Battista Alberti, Giulio Romano, Titian, Rubens, and Guercino. However, Andrea Mantegna--who served as the court painter from 1460 to 1506 and whose technical mastery revolutionized painting--is the artist most identified with the city.
Although most of Mantua's artistic treasures were sold or claimed as war spoils upon the decline of the Gonzaga family, the rich cultural legacy of this fascinating city lives on in the collections of many of the world's premier museums.