LA SALA DEI MESI E IL MISTERO DEI DECANIThe Palace Schifanoia and the frescoes in the Salone dei Mesi are the true essence of Renaissance Ferrara. Already with Leonello d’Este palace had become the innermost heart of the court and the inner sanctum of his leisure.
Borso d’Este, his successor, he wanted to be celebrated with a work that emerge of the link with the fate of the dynasty, and his every action on earth with the cosmic designs. The frescoes were executed in just two years, from 1468 to 1470, thanks to a large number of artists who worked there.
This is divided into twelve parts, divided themselves into three bands. For each month and zodiac sign corresponds to a greek god surrounded by an endless series of specific symbols.
Today, unfortunately, there are only seven with the addition of a fragment of the month of December. The frescoes were executed by Francesco del Cossa, Ercole de Roberti and the famous Cosimo Tura. His downfall was mainly due to the fact that at the beginning of 1700 the palace was used as a tobacco factory and the walls were whitewashed so as to irreversibly damage many valuable paintings.
The general logic of the room sees the paintings established between a dual concatenation. The horizontal relationship allows a representation of the individual months and related activities: We may consider the central band as merely symbolic, the upper band as indicative of the protecting deity of the specific month and above the lower band as a representative of the court of Borso in that specific period.
If we look at the paintings from the vertical point of view, however, we note that each deity, accompanied by his children, is positioned to protect the life of the building by means of the astral conjunctions represented by the signs of the zodiac: alongside the latter are each three Deans of which no one has been able to give a first interpretation of the Warburg scholar who became interested in these paintings since 1912 through a careful and extensive study on the frescoes astrological who inaugurated a whole series of subsequent investigations in relation to the relationship between art and science of astrology in Renaissance period.
The figures of Decani, astrological components of Egyptian origin, according to Warburg are to represent each a constellation of ten stars and to indicate those born in a specific decade of the month but they still have some blind spots that only time and study will perhaps able to clarify.