An opulent pleasure palace for rest and entertainment, the Palazzo Te is the masterpiece of Renaissance artist, designer and architect Giulio Romano, the most accomplished and favoured of all Raphael’s pupils.
Built for Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, between 1525 and 1536, the Palazzo’s interiors are decorated with spectacular frescoes of themes from ancient myth. Showing richly imaginative scenes and trompe l’oeil fantasies, they depict gods and heroes, fictive marble statues and portraits of the Duke’s favourite thoroughbreds.
From the erotic scenes of the Chamber of Psyche to the famous Chamber of the Giants, based on the defeat of the Titans by the gods of Olympus, the High Renaissance ideal of classical harmony and balance is overtaken by breathtaking illusionist techniques, with images of giants, falling masonry and the gods’ thunderbolts filling the visitor’s imagination.
Ugo Bazzotti takes the reader through the halls, courtyards and gardens that constitute this elaborate masterpiece of Mannerist decoration, explaining its history and the inventiveness and versatility of its creator.