The tapestries in the Ducal Palace

In 1776 the Chapter of the basilica di Santa Barbara decided to sell the tapestries, ruined by their continuous use, to the Ducal Palace in exchange for an amount of new damask for the decoration of the church. In the palace the textiles were set in some rooms belonging to the so-called appartamento Verde, built by Guglielmo Gonzaga in Corte Vecchia. A new decoration was planned and the most important artists of the Accademia in Mantua were involved in this project: among them the painters Felice Campi – author of the paintings representing false tapestries – and Giovan Battista Marconi, and the plasterer Stanislao Somazzi. Before being displayed, the tapestries were restored by Antonia Carrè Lorenzini, who was highly praised for her work.

The 18th century display is similar to that used for paintings: the textiles are fixed to wooden stretchers; these are secured to the wall through hinges, that allow to lift the tapestry. Wooden gilt frames complete the works.

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