Home Background Analysis Deconstruction Installation Pigments Zoom
Feast of the Gods
Classical story
 The Italian city-states

During the Renaissance, Italy was a collection of city-states, each with its own ruler—the Pope in Rome, the Medici family in Florence, the Doge in Venice, the Sforza family in Milan, the Este family in Ferrara, etc. Among the ruling families of these city-states there was unceasing conflict and intense rivalry—either by open warfare or, in times of peace, through economic and artistic competition to achieve the most brilliant court. It was this rivalry that drove Alfonso d'Este to commission the Feast of the Gods for his palace in Ferrara, some 100 miles southwest of Venice.

The Renaissance was a time of paradoxical contrasts, when artistic enlightenment was mixed with savage barbarism. Thus, the d'Este family in Ferrara was committed to learning, art and the new humanism—and none more so than Alfonso d'Este. Yet Alfonso's grandfather had his wife brutally murdered together with her lover, who had been her illegitimate stepson, and Alfonso's father, failing to poison a nephew, simply had him executed instead.

< Previous       Next >

  Look for:
webexhibits.org/feast Español | About | References