Museum Gallery Estense – Modena

Showcase for the bronze vase of Gonzaga

Pier Jacopo Alari Bonacolsi, called l’Antico
Mantua, around 1460 – Gazzuolo, 1528

Gonzaga vase
Bronze casting, h 31 cm
Inv. 2259

The vase is registered for the first time in the inventory of objects transported from Doge’s Palace in the Lyceum of Modena dating back to 24 April 1797. On the body of the vase there are emblems of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga and his wife Antonia del Balzo, lords of Rodigo and Bozzolo : the theme of the vase is; festive sea procession led by Neptune followed by the nymph Amphitrite (could be related to their marriage), which took place in 1479. It is one of the masterpieces of the Mantovan bronzist, whom manages to merge the admirable perfection of the ancient sculpture (in particular the knowledge of the reliefs of the Roman sarcophagi) with the echoes of the engravings by Andrea Mantegna.