Carlo Bononi. The last dreamer of the Officina ferrarese


At Palazzo dei Diamanti, in the autumn of 2017, it will be possible to get to know a fascinating new chapter of the Ferrarese art: Carlo Bononi, a great master of the 17th Century painting, who has been considered very similar to Zurbáran and close to Caravaggio.
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The exhibition is the first monographic dedicated to this artist; it has been promoted by Fondazione Ferrara Arte and organized by Giovanni Sassu, curator at the “Arte A ntica” Museums in Ferrara, and by Francesca Cappelletti, Art History professor at the University of Ferrara.
For many Centuries, Carlo Bononi remained in the shades, obscured by the memories of the magical Renaissance in Ferrara. Slowly, art historians have focused their studies on such an unique artist, who was able to explain the religious tensions of his age in a very personal and transcendent way. As an author of mythological scenes, as well as great altar panels and religious decorative cycles, Bononi elaborated a language deeply based on emotions. By using light effects and theatrical devices, he became one of the first Baroque Italian painters, as it is witnessed by the decorations at Santa Maria in Vado, realised around 1617.

Bononi was also a naturalist painter. In his works of art, he was able to make religious themes more concrete, identifying the holy images into concrete scenes, and turning holy charachers as the Saints and the Madonne into real and very recognizable people. Few artists have been able to combine male nudes with the catholic ideals of the Counter-Reformation: his saints and martyrs are still showing their powerful perfection.
This was very evident to his contemporaries’ eyes. Guido Reni, the “ Divine”, a few months after Carlo’s death, in 1632, described him as “a not ordinary painter”, with a “great knowledge in drawing and colourism”. Carlo Bononi’s drawing and powerful colour are waiting for you, to surprise and to seduce you, next autumn.


Palazzo dei Diamanti - Corso Ercole I d'Este 21 - Ferrara


From October 14th, 2017 to January 7th, 2018


Every day  9 am – 7 pm
Also open November 1st; December  8th, 25th and 26th, January 1st and 6th 
Ticket office closes 30 min. before.


Prices (audio guide included)
– Full price: euro 11.00
– Reduced price: euro 9.00 (from 6 to 18 years old, over 65s, university students, authorised categories)
– Groups (minimum 15 people): euro 9.00 (1 free guide every 20 people paying)
– Schools: euro 5.00 (2 free accompanying teachers per classroom)


  • Up to age 6
  • Disabled persons with one accompanying person
  • Conscripts
  • Tourist guides


Ufficio Informazioni e Prenotazioni Mostre e Musei Ercole I d'Este, 21
telefax 0532 203064
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last modified Oct 13, 2017 01:34
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