Orlando Furioso 500 years. What Ariosto saw when he closed his eyes


An exciting adventure in the universe of Ariosto, among battles and tournaments, knights and lovers, desires and magic, thanks to the masterpieces of the best artists of the time – from Andrea Mantegna to Leonardo da Vinci, from Dosso Dossi to Raphael, from Michelangelo to Titian.
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What did Ludovico Ariosto see when he closed his eyes? Which images crowded his mind when he was composing the poem which marked the Italian Renaissance? Which art masterpieces inspired his creativity?

These are the questions the exhibition organised by the Foundation Ferrara Arte in order to celebrate the five hundred year anniversary from the first edition of the Orlando Furioso, is trying to answer. Conceived during Estense Ferrara and printed in 1516, the poem is one of the absolute masterpieces of Western literature which immediately spoke directly to the heart of Italian and European readers.
More than a documentary reconstruction, the exhibition is an important display of genuine art: an extraordinary narration through images which guides the visitor in an exciting trip in the Ariosto universe, through battles and tournaments, knights and lovers, desires and spells.

The masterpieces by the best artists in the world – from Giovanni Bellini to Mantegna, from Dosso Dossi to Raphael, from Leonardo to Michelangelo and Titian – in addition to ancient and Renaissance sculptures, engravings, tapestries, weapons, books and artefacts of extraordinary beauty and preciousness, allow visitors to re-experience the fantastic chivalrous world of Furioso and of his paladins, at the same time offering an evocative cross section of the Ferrara in which the book was conceived and narrating the dreams, desires and fantasies of that Italian Renaissance court society of which Ariosto was a skilful bard.
The exhibition is curated by Guido Beltramini and Adolfo Tura and organised by the Foundation Ferrara Arte and by MiBACT, the cultural heritage and tourist Ministry.


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


From September 24th, 2016 to January 29th, 2017


Every day, 9.00 – 19.00.
Open on November 1st, December 8th, 25th and 26th, January 1st and 6th.
From October 29th to 31st, From December 8th to 10th and from January 1st to 8th, open 9.00-22.30. 
December 31st open 9.00-23.30


Prices (audio guide included)
– Full price: euro 13.00
– Reduced price: euro 11.00 (from 6 to 18 years old, over 65s, university students, authorised categories)
– Groups (minimum 15 people): euro 11.00 (1 free guide every 20 people paying)
– Schools: euro 5.00 (2 free accompanying teachers per classroom)


  • Disabled persons with one accompanying person
  • Journalists
  • Tourist guides
  • Conscripts


Ufficio Informazioni e Prenotazioni Mostre e Musei Ercole I d'Este, 21
telefax 0532 203064
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last modified Dec 14, 2016 12:42
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