WORKS BY GIULIO ROMANO IN MANTUA: AN ITINERARY BETWEEN ART AND MASTERPIECES
Imagine you have a day at your disposal to admire works by Giulio Romano in Mantua and you visit the city guided only by his masterpieces.
Do you like the idea? So, check your organizer and choose a date to make this journey as soon as possible. I recommend the itinerary I followed to you, and in this post you’ll find the legs to see the most extraordinary works by Giulio Romano in Mantua in a day.
Works by Giulio Romano in Mantua
Giulio Romano was born in Rome between 1492 and 1499 and spent 22 years in Mantua, at the service of the Gonzaga family.
His life and career, actually, seemed to be destined to occur in Rome, not only because in this city he was born, but especially because he was Raphael’s favourite pupil. However, the fate led Giulio Romano to Mantua, where he created great masterpieces.
Giulio Romano left many works in Mantua and was a painter, architect and even designer for the Gonzaga family.
I was able to discover the city in the footsteps of Giulio Romano thanks to the City of Mantua, which this year dedicates events and exhibitions to Giulio Romano (at the bottom of the post you will find the link to the official page with all the events scheduled until June 2020) .
Here are the legs of a journey to Mantua all dedicated to Giulio Romano.
Te Palace is certainly Giulio Romano’s masterpiece in Mantua, who designed and decorated the palace at the behest of Federico II of Gonzaga.
It’s a beautiful palace and one of the most beautiful museums in Mantua.
Giulio Romano was commissioned to transform the Gonzaga family’s former stables into a pleasure place, in which the Prince of Mantua could have fun and entertain his guests.
The unmissable works in Te Palace are:
- the Horses salon where Federico II of Gonzaga’s favourite horses are frescoed on the walls;
- the Room of Psyche, decorated with frescoes inspired by Apuleius’ Metamorphoses;
- the Giants’ Room, decorated with the battle between Zeus and the Giants and its tragic outcome, where spectators are deeply involved in.
HOUSE OF GIULIO ROMANO
Not far from Te Palace, in via Poma 18, is the House which Giulio Romano built for himself and his own family.
Here he lived until 1546, when he died, and the size of the building, the recess with the statue of Mercury and big mascarons above the tympanums of the windows tell us the Giulio Romano was a wealthy artist and had an easy life.
Today the building is private and you can’t enter, but we know that inside are still the walls frescoed by Giulio Romano.
PESCHERIE (GIULIO ROMANO LOGGIA)
The only work by Giulio Romano intended to improve the city of Mantua is the Pescherie (fish market), built in 1536 and intended for fish shops.
BASILICA OF SANT’ANDREA
Inside the amazing Basilica of Sant’Andrea, designed by Leon Battista Alberti in the late 15th century, is the Chapel of Saint Longinus (also known as Boschetti) decorated with two large frescoes by Giulio Romano portraying the most important moment of the history of the relic of the Most Precious Blood of Christ housed in the crypt of the Basilica.
In the centre of the chapel you can admire an altarpiece which is a copy of the original painting by Giulio Romano, now on display in the Louvre Museum, depicting the Adoration of the Christ Child where St. Longinus is portrayed while looking outside the painting, right towards the relic.
DUOMO OF MANTUA
The Duomo of Mantua (the Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle) overlooks Piazza Sordello and Giulio Romano restored it in 1545, at the behest of Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga.
He left the exterior intact, but he transformed the interior into a copy of the ancient St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on a small scale. It was the church destroyed to build the present-day building we all know and which is the reference point for all Catholics in the world.
Entering the Duomo of Mantua, thus, you can understand how the ancient St. Peter’s Basilica was. But, maybe, what strikes me most is the imposing space and the play of light and shadow.
And even in this case Giulio Romano in Mantua cannot help but astonish spectators!
The city of Mantua celebrates Giulio Romano with the great project “Mantua: City of Giulio Romano”, which from September 2019 to June 2020 allows you to discover the works and life of this extraordinary artist.
A program full of exhibitions, conferences and cultural proposals is dedicated to Giulio Romano, made possible by collaboration with the main local institutions.
All scheduled initiatives are listed on the official page – Giulio Romano Mantua