Artibus et Historiae no. 36 (XVIII)

1997, ISSN 0391-9064

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KATHERINE A. MCIVER - Love, Death and Mourning: Paola Gonzaga's Camerino at Fontanellato

Paola Gonzaga's Camerino in the Rocca Sanvitale at Fontanellato has long been the subject of debate and of speculation in terms of its unusual location, its patron and the meaning of its fresco decoration. It is my contention that this commission was a cooperative arrangement between husband and wife, and that, while Giangaleazzo Sanvitale may have provided the majority of the financial support for the project, it was Paola who determined the theme and the iconography of the Camerino decoration - a room for and about herself. Stimulated by the loss of an infant son, she created a personal statement by which she speaks to her peers about her own tragedy and about her ideas concerning the religious and the moral issues of the day.

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