Orlando Furioso 500 years. What did Ariosto see when he closed his eyes
Palazzo dei Diamanti
Corso Ercole I d’Este 21, 44121 Ferrara, Italy
What did Ludovico Ariosto see when he closed his eyes? What images did he have in mind as he was composing the defining epic of the Italian Renaissance? Which artworks acted as muses to his imagination? These are the questions that the exhibit organized by the Ferrara Art Foundation, in commemoration of the five hundred year anniversary of the first edition of Orlando Furioso, aims to explore. Composed in Ferrara and printed in the city in 1516, the poem is one of the ultimate masterpieces of Western literature and it immediately captured the hearts of Italian and European readers alike.
More than a documentary reconstruction, the exposition will be a true retrospective: an extraordinary history in images that will lead the visitor on an exciting journey through Ariosto’s universe, between battles and tournaments, knights and romances, passions and enchantments.
The masterpieces of the greatest artists of the time—from Giovanni Bellini to Mantegna, from Dosso Dossi to Raphael, from Leonardo to Michelangelo to Titian—in addition to ancient and Renaissance sculptures, engravings, tapestries, weapons, books, and artefacts of extraordinary beauty and value, will bring back to life Orlando Furioso’s fantastic world of knights and warriors, at the same time offering an evocative portrait of Ferrara at the time of the work’s conception, with the dreams, wishes, and fantasies of the courtly society of the Italian Renaissance that Ariosto immortalized so magisterially.
Exhibition curated by Guido Beltramini e Alfonso Tura, organized by Fondazione Ferrara Arte and MiBACT – Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and for Tourism.