Mannerism known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style replaced it. Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century. Stylistically, Mannerism encompasses a variety of approaches influenced by, reacting to, the harmonious ideals associated with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and early Michelangelo. Where High Renaissance art emphasizes proportion and ideal beauty, Mannerism exaggerates such qualities resulting in compositions that are asymmetrical or unnaturally elegant; the style is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial qualities. It favors compositional tension and instability rather than the balance and clarity of earlier Renaissance painting. Mannerism in literature and music is notable for its florid style and intellectual sophistication; the definition of Mannerism and the phases within it continue to be a subject of debate among art historians.
For example, some scholars have applied the label to certain early modern forms of literature and music of the 16th and 17th centuries. The term is used to refer to some late Gothic painters working in northern Europe from about 1500 to 1530 the Antwerp Mannerists—a group unrelated to the Italian movement. Mannerism has been applied by analogy to the Silver Age of Latin literature; the word mannerism derives from the Italian maniera, meaning "style" or "manner". Like the English word "style", maniera can either indicate a specific type of style or indicate an absolute that needs no qualification. In the second edition of his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects, Giorgio Vasari used maniera in three different contexts: to discuss an artist's manner or method of working. Vasari was a Mannerist artist, he described the period in which he worked as "la maniera moderna", or the "modern style". James V. Mirollo describes how "bella maniera" poets attempted to surpass in virtuosity the sonnets of Petrarch.
This notion of "bella maniera" suggests that artists who were thus inspired looked to copying and bettering their predecessors, rather than confronting nature directly. In essence, "bella maniera" utilized the best from a number of source materials, synthesizing it into something new; as a stylistic label, "Mannerism" is not defined. It was used by Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt and popularized by German art historians in the early 20th century to categorize the uncategorizable art of the Italian 16th century — art, no longer found to exhibit the harmonious and rational approaches associated with the High Renaissance. “High Renaissance” connoted a period distinguished by harmony and the revival of classical antiquity. The term Mannerist was redefined in 1967 by John Shearman following the exhibition of Mannerist paintings organised by Fritz Grossmann at Manchester City Art Gallery in 1965; the label “Mannerism” was used during the 16th century to comment on social behaviour and to convey a refined virtuoso quality or to signify a certain technique.
However, for writers, such as the 17th-century Gian Pietro Bellori, "la maniera" was a derogatory term for the perceived decline of art after Raphael in the 1530s and 1540s. From the late 19th century on, art historians have used the term to describe art that follows Renaissance classicism and precedes the Baroque, yet historians differ as to whether Mannerism is a movement, or a period. By the end of the High Renaissance, young artists experienced a crisis: it seemed that everything that could be achieved was achieved. No more difficulties, technical or otherwise, remained to be solved; the detailed knowledge of anatomy, light and the way in which humans register emotion in expression and gesture, the innovative use of the human form in figurative composition, the use of the subtle gradation of tone, all had reached near perfection. The young artists needed to find a new goal, they sought new approaches. At this point Mannerism started to emerge; the new style developed between 1510 and 1520 either in Florence, or in Rome, or in both cities simultaneously.
This period has been described as a "natural extension" of the art of Andrea del Sarto and Raphael. Michelangelo developed his own style at an early age, a original one, admired at first often copied and imitated by other artists of the era. One of the qualities most admired by his contemporaries was his terribilità, a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur, subsequent artists attempted to imitate it. Other artists learned Michelangelo's impassioned and personal style by copying the works of the master, a standard way that students learned to paint and sculpt, his Sistine Chapel ceiling provided examples for them to follow, in particular his representation of collected figures called ignudi and of the Libyan Sibyl, his vestibule to the Laurentian Library, the figures on his Medici tombs, above all his Last Judgment. The Michelangelo was one of the great role models of Mannerism. Young artists stole drawings from him. In his book Lives of the Most Eminent Painters and Architects
Santo Spirito (Siena)
Santo Spirito is a Renaissance style, Roman Catholic church located in piazza Santo Spirito, where Via dei Pispini meets Vicolo del Sasso, in the city Siena, region of Tuscany, Italy. Building at the site was begun by the Biccherna for monks of the Silvestrine order in 1345. In 1440 it was passed to the Benedictines of Santa Giustina, soon after to the Dominican Order, they held the monastery till their suppression in 1782. The Benedictines were the first to erect a library; the church is a reconstruction from 1498-1504. The cupola was completed in 1504, but the church was not consecrated till 1513; the marble portal was designed by Baldassare Peruzzi. The interior houses the Funeral monument of a number of Spaniards, including Daniel Burgos, Ferdinando Alvarez, Pietro Crispo Spagnuoli, a chapel, one of Sodoma's masterpieces; the chapel was painted in Renaissance style with tromp-d'oeil and architecture, includes frescoes of Saints James and Sebastian. Astolfo Petrazzi painted a San Francesco di Paola.
The statue of St Vincent Ferrer is by Cozzarelli. Other works in the church include a Jesus at Gesthemane, a Deposition, a St Vincent by Giovanni Paolo Pisani; the main altar has a St Hyacinth painted by Francesco Vanni, while the four episodes of the Life of the Saint were painted by Ventura Salimbeni. The church once held the relics of Santa Orsina, once in the suppressed Monastery of Vita Eterna; the four saints painted alongside the main altar were painted by Rutilio Manetti. The Tribune of the Choir has a Descent of the Holy Spirit by Giuseppe Nicola Nasini; the church has a terracotta nativity scene or presepe by Ambrogio della Robbia. In the sacristy, located where once was the cloister, is a 1516 fresco by Fra Paolo da Pistoia
Fresco is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid, or wet lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall; the word fresco is derived from the Italian adjective fresco meaning "fresh", may thus be contrasted with fresco-secco or secco mural painting techniques, which are applied to dried plaster, to supplement painting in fresco. The fresco technique has been employed since antiquity and is associated with Italian Renaissance painting. Buon fresco pigment is mixed with room temperature water and is used on a thin layer of wet, fresh plaster, called the intonaco; because of the chemical makeup of the plaster, a binder is not required, as the pigment mixed with the water will sink into the intonaco, which itself becomes the medium holding the pigment. The pigment is absorbed by the wet plaster; the chemical processes are as follows: calcination of limestone in a lime kiln: CaCO3 → CaO + CO2 slaking of quicklime: CaO + H2O → Ca2 setting of the lime plaster: Ca2 + CO2 → CaCO3 + H2O In painting buon fresco, a rough underlayer called the arriccio is added to the whole area to be painted and allowed to dry for some days.
Many artists sketched their compositions on this underlayer, which would never be seen, in a red pigment called sinopia, a name used to refer to these under-paintings. Later,new techniques for transferring paper drawings to the wall were developed; the main lines of a drawing made on paper were pricked over with a point, the paper held against the wall, a bag of soot banged on them on produce black dots along the lines. If the painting was to be done over an existing fresco, the surface would be roughened to provide better adhesion. On the day of painting, the intonaco, a thinner, smooth layer of fine plaster was added to the amount of wall, expected to be completed that day, sometimes matching the contours of the figures or the landscape, but more just starting from the top of the composition; this area is called the giornata, the different day stages can be seen in a large fresco, by a sort of seam that separates one from the next. Buon frescoes are difficult to create because of the deadline associated with the drying plaster.
A layer of plaster will require ten to twelve hours to dry. Once a giornata is dried, no more buon fresco can be done, the unpainted intonaco must be removed with a tool before starting again the next day. If mistakes have been made, it may be necessary to remove the whole intonaco for that area—or to change them a secco. An indispensable component of this process is the carbonatation of the lime, which fixes the colour in the plaster ensuring durability of the fresco for future generations. A technique used in the popular frescoes of Michelangelo and Raphael was to scrape indentations into certain areas of the plaster while still wet to increase the illusion of depth and to accent certain areas over others; the eyes of the people of the School of Athens are sunken-in using this technique which causes the eyes to seem deeper and more pensive. Michelangelo used this technique as part of his trademark'outlining' of his central figures within his frescoes. In a wall-sized fresco, there may be ten to twenty or more giornate, or separate areas of plaster.
After five centuries, the giornate, which were nearly invisible, have sometimes become visible, in many large-scale frescoes, these divisions may be seen from the ground. Additionally, the border between giornate was covered by an a secco painting, which has since fallen off. One of the first painters in the post-classical period to use this technique was the Isaac Master in the Upper Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi. A person who creates fresco is called a frescoist. A secco or fresco-secco painting is done on dry plaster; the pigments thus require a binding medium, such as egg, glue or oil to attach the pigment to the wall. It is important to distinguish between a secco work done on top of buon fresco, which according to most authorities was in fact standard from the Middle Ages onwards, work done a secco on a blank wall. Buon fresco works are more durable than any a secco work added on top of them, because a secco work lasts better with a roughened plaster surface, whilst true fresco should have a smooth one.
The additional a secco work would be done to make changes, sometimes to add small details, but because not all colours can be achieved in true fresco, because only some pigments work chemically in the alkaline environment of fresh lime-based plaster. Blue was a particular problem, skies and blue robes were added a secco, because neither azurite blue nor lapis lazuli, the only two blue pigments available, works well in wet fresco, it has become clear, thanks to modern analytical techniques, that in the early Italian Renaissance painters quite employed a secco techniques so as to allow the use of a broader range of pigments. In most early examples this work has now vanished, but a whole painting done a secco on a surface roughened to give a key for the paint may survive well
Federico Barocci was an Italian Renaissance painter and printmaker. His original name was Federico Fiori, he was nicknamed Il Baroccio, his work was esteemed and influential, foreshadows the Baroque of Rubens. He was born at Urbino, Duchy of Urbino, received his earliest apprenticeship with his father, Ambrogio Barocci, a sculptor of some local eminence, he was apprenticed with the painter Battista Franco in Urbino. He accompanied his uncle, Bartolomeo Genga to Pesaro in 1548 to Rome, where he was worked in the pre-eminent studio of the day, that of the Mannerist painters and Federico Zuccari. After passing four years at Rome, he returned to his native city, where his first work of art was a St. Margaret executed for the Confraternity of the Holy Sacrament, he was invited back to Rome by Pope Pius IV to assist in the decoration of the Vatican Belvedere Palace at Rome, where he painted the Virgin Mary and infant, with several Saints and a ceiling in fresco, representing the Annunciation. During this second sojourn, while completing the decorations for the Vatican, Barocci fell ill with intestinal complaints.
He suspected. Fearing his illness was terminal, he left Rome in 1563. Barocci henceforth complained of frail health, though he remained productive for nearly four decades more. While he is described by contemporaries as somewhat morose and hypochondriacal, his paintings are lively and brilliant. Although he continued to have major altarpiece commissions from afar, he never returned to Rome, was patronized in his native city by Francesco Maria II della Rovere, duke of Urbino; the Ducal Palace can be seen in the background of his paintings, rendered in a forced perspective that seems a holdover from Mannerism. While Barocci was removed from Rome, the fulcrum of artistic fame and influence, he continued to innovate in his style. At some point he may have seen colored chalk/pastel drawings by Correggio, but Barocci's remarkable pastel studies are the earliest examples of the technique to survive. In pastels and in oil sketches Barocci's soft, opalescent renderings evoke the ethereal; such studies were part of a complex process Barocci used to complete his altarpieces.
An organized series of steps leading up to the final product ensured its speed and success in execution. Barocci did innumerable sketches: gestural, figural studies, lighting studies, perspective studies, color studies, nature studies, etc. Today, over 2,000 drawings by him are extant; every detail of his subsequent cartoons for canvases was worked out in this way. A good example is his famed Madonna del Popolo, it is a vortex of color and vitality, made possible by the great variety of people, perspectives, natural details, colors and atmospheric effects. There are many surviving drawings for the Madonna del Popolo, from initial sketches to color studies of heads, to the final full size cartoon. Despite this painstaking process, Barocci's genius kept the brushstrokes passionate and liberated, a spiritual light seems to flicker as a jewel across faces, hands and sky. Barocci's embrace of the Counter Reformation would shape his fruitful career. By 1566, he joined a lay order of an offshoot of Franciscans.
He may have been influenced by Saint Philip Neri, whose Oratorians sought to reconnect the spiritual realm with the lives of everyday people. Neri, somewhat ambivalent about the accumulating richness of his Santa Maria in Vallicella, commissioned two completed works from Barocci, the pre-eminent artist of these large pious altarpieces: The Visitation and Presentation of the Virgin. Neri is said to have been moved to ecstasy by Barocci's accomplishment in the former painting, which shows the Virgin and Elizabeth greeting each other. In Urbino, where he painted a Descent from the Cross for the cathedral of San Lorenzo at Perugia, he again visited Rome during the papacy of Gregory XIII when he painted two admirable pictures for the Chiesa Nuova, representing the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to Elisabeth and the Presentation in the Temple, for the Chiesa della Minerva, a Last Supper. The artist biographer Giovanni Bellori, the Baroque equivalent of Giorgio Vasari, considered Barocci to be among the finest painters of his time.
Barocci's emotive brushwork was not lost on Peter Paul Rubens. Rubens is known to have made a sketch of his dramatic Martyrdom of St Vitale, in which the martyr's undulating flesh is the eye of another whirlwind of figures and drama. Rubens' The Martyrdom of St Livinus seems to owe much to Barocci, from the putto with the pointing palm frond to the presence of dogs in the lower right corner. Among the painters and artists who worked under Barocci are Antonio Cimatori, Ventura Mazza, Antonio Viviani, Giovanni Andrea Urbani, Alessandro Vitali, Felice and Vincenzo Pellegrini. Barocci had many who followed or were influenced by his style, including Nicolo Martinelli, Giovanni Battista Lombardelli, Domenico Malpiedi, Cesare & Basilio Maggeri, Filippo Bellini, Giovanni Laurentini, Giorgio Picchi, Giovanni Giacomo Pandolfi, Pietro Paolo Tamburini, Terenzio d’Urbino, Giulio Cesare Begni, Benedetto Marini, Girolamo Cialdieri, Giovanni Battista Urbinelli, Alfonso Patanazzi, Gian Ortensio Bertuzzi, Cesare Franchi, Silla Piccinini, Benedetto Bandiera, Matteuccio Salvucci, Simeone Ciburri, Pietro Rancanelli, Onofrio Marini, Alessandro Brune
Montalcino is a hill town and comune in the province of Siena, central Italy. It is known for its Brunello di Montalcino wine; the town is located to the west of Pienza, close to the Crete Senesi in Val d'Orcia. It is 110 kilometres from Florence and 150 kilometres from Pisa; the Monte Amiata is located nearby. The hill upon which Montalcino sits has been settled since Etruscan times, its first mention in historical documents in 814 AD suggests there was a church here in the 9th century, most built by monks associated with the nearby Abbey of Sant'Antimo. The population grew in the middle of the tenth century, when people fleeing the nearby town of Roselle took up residence in the town; the town takes its name from a variety of oak tree. The high site of the town offers stunning views over the Asso and Arbia valleys of Tuscany, dotted with silvery olive orchards, vineyards and villages; the lower slopes of the Montalcino hill itself are dominated by productive vines and olive orchards. During medieval times the city was known for its tanneries and for the shoes and other leather goods that were made from the high-quality leathers that were produced there.
As time went by, many medieval hill towns, including Montalcino, went into serious economic decline. Like many of the medieval towns of Tuscany, Montalcino experienced long periods of peace and enjoyed a measure of prosperity; this peace and prosperity was, interrupted by a number of violent episodes. During the late Middle Ages it was an independent commune with considerable importance owing to its location on the old Via Francigena, the main road between France and Rome, but Montalcino came under the sway of the larger and more aggressive city of Siena; as a satellite of Siena since the Battle of Montaperti in 1260, Montalcino was involved and affected by the conflicts in which Siena became embroiled in those with the city of Florence in the 14th and 15th centuries, like many other cities in central and northern Italy, the town was caught up in the internecine wars between the Ghibellines and the Guelphs. Factions from each side controlled the town at various times in the late medieval period.
Once Siena had been conquered by Florence under the rule of the Medici family in 1555, Montalcino held out for four years, but fell to the Florentines, under whose control it remained until the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was amalgamated into a united Italy in 1861. In the case of Montalcino, gradual economic decline has been reversed by economic growth due to the increasing popularity of the town's famous wine Brunello di Montalcino, made from the sangiovese grosso grapes grown within the comune; the number of producers of the wine has grown from only 11 in the 1960s to more than 200 today, producing some 330,000 cases of the Brunello wine annually. Brunello was the first wine to be awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita status. In addition to Brunello di Montalcino, which must be aged five years prior to release, 6 years for the Riserva, Rosso di Montalcino, made from sangiovese grosso grapes and aged one year, a variety of Super Tuscan wines are produced within the comune, as well as the Moscadello sweet white wines for which it was most famous until the development of the Brunello series.
The first walls of the town were built in the 13th century. The fortress, built in 1361 atop the highest point of the town, was designed with a pentagonal layout by the Sienese architects Mino Foresi and Domenico di Feo; the fortress incorporates some of the pre-existing southern walls, the pre-existing structures including the keep of Santo Martini, the San Giovanni tower and an ancient basilica which now serves as the fortress chapel. Though the town itself was conquered, the fortress itself never submitted, an admirable feat, considering the size of the Sienese and Florentine forces that besieged Montalcino at varying intervals; the narrow, short street leads down from the main gate of the fortress to the Chiesa di Sant'Agostino with its simple 13th-century, Romanesque façade. Adjacent to the church is the former convent, now the Musei Riuniti, both a civic and diocesan museum, housing among its collections: a wooden crucifix by an unknown artist of the Sienese school, two 15th century wooden sculptures, including a Madonna by an anonymous artist, several terracotta sculptures attributed which to the Della Robbia school.
The collection includes a St Peter and St Paul by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and a Virgin and Child by Simone Martini. There are modern works from the early 20th century in the museum; the Duomo, dedicated to San Salvatore, was built in the 14th Century, but now has a 19th-century Neoclassical façade designed by the Sienese architect Agostino Fantasici. The Piazza della Principessa Margherita is down the hill from the fortress and Duomo on the via Matteotti; the principal building on the piazza is the former Palazzo dei Priori or Palazzo Comunale, now town hall. The palace is adorned with the coats of arms of the Podesta, once rulers of the city. A tall medieval tower is incorporated into the palazzo. Close by is a Renaissance-style building with six round arches, called La Loggia, for which construction began at the end of the 14th century and finished in the early 15th, but which has undergone much restoration work over the subsequent centuries. Montalcino is divided, like most medieval Tuscan cities, into quarters called contrade, Travaglio and Ruga, each with their own colors and sep
Assisi is a town and comune of Italy in the Province of Perugia in the Umbria region, on the western flank of Monte Subasio. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Latin poet Propertius, born around 50–45 BC, it is the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, St. Clare, the founder of the Poor Sisters, which became the Order of Poor Clares after her death; the 19th-century Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was born in Assisi. Around 1000 BC a wave of immigrants settled in the upper Tiber valley as far as the Adriatic Sea, in the neighborhood of Assisi; these were the Umbrians. From 450 BC these settlements were taken over by the Etruscans; the Romans took control of central Italy after the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC. They built the flourishing municipium Asisium on a series of terraces on Monte Subasio. Roman remains can still be found in Assisi: city walls, the forum, a theatre, an amphitheatre and the Temple of Minerva. In 1997, the remains of a Roman villa were discovered containing several well-preserved rooms with frescoes and mosaics in a condition found outside sites such as Pompei.
In 238 AD Assisi was converted to Christianity by bishop Rufino, martyred at Costano. According to tradition, his remains rest in the Cathedral Church of San Rufino in Assisi; the Ostrogoths of king Totila destroyed most of the town in 545. Assisi came under the rule of the Lombards as part of the Lombard and Frankish Duchy of Spoleto; the thriving commune became an independent Ghibelline commune in the 11th century. Struggling with the Guelph Perugia, it was during one of those battles, the battle at Ponte San Giovanni, that Francesco di Bernardone was taken prisoner, setting in motion the events that led him to live as a beggar, renounce the world and establish the Order of Friars Minor; the city, which had remained within the confines of the Roman walls, began to expand outside these walls in the 13th century. In this period the city was under papal jurisdiction; the Rocca Maggiore, the imperial fortress on top of the hill above the city, plundered by the people in 1189, was rebuilt in 1367 on orders of the papal legate, cardinal Gil de Albornoz.
In the beginning Assisi fell under the rule of Perugia and under several despots, such as the soldier of fortune Biordo Michelotti, Gian Galeazzo Visconti and his successor Francesco I Sforza, dukes of Milan, Jacopo Piccinino and Federico II da Montefeltro, lord of Urbino. The city went into a deep decline through the plague of the Black Death in 1348; the city came again under papal jurisdiction under the rule of Pope Pius II. In 1569 construction was started of the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. During the Renaissance and in centuries, the city continued to develop peacefully, as the 17th-century palazzi of the Bernabei and Giacobetti attest. Now the site of many a pilgrimage, Assisi is linked in legend with St. Francis; the gentle saint founded the Franciscan order and shares honors with St. Catherine of Siena as the patron saint of Italy, he is remembered by many non-Christians, as a lover of nature. Assisi was hit by two devastating earthquakes, that shook Umbria in September 1997.
But the recovery and restoration have been remarkable. Massive damage was caused to many historical sites, but the major attraction, the Basilica di San Francesco, reopened less than 2 years later. UNESCO collectively designated the Franciscan structures of Assisi as a World Heritage Site in 2000; the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi. The Franciscan monastery, il Sacro Convento, the lower and upper church of St Francis were begun after his canonization in 1228, completed in 1253; the lower church has frescoes by the late-medieval artists Giotto. The Basilica was badly damaged by a 5.5 earthquake on 26 September 1997, during which part of the vault collapsed, killing four people inside the church and carrying with it a fresco by Cimabue. The edifice was closed for two years for restoration. Santa Maria Maggiore, the earliest extant church in Assisi; the Cathedral of San Rufino, with a Romanesque façade with three rose windows and a 16th‑century interior. Basilica of Santa Chiara with its massive lateral buttresses, rose window, simple Gothic interior, begun in 1257, contains the tomb of the namesake saint and 13th‑century frescoes and paintings.
Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which houses the Porziuncola. Chiesa Nuova, built over the presumed parental home of St. Francis Santo Stefano, one of the oldest churches of Assisi. Eremo delle Carceri, a small monastery with church at a canyon above the town, where St. Francis retreated and preached to birds Church of San Pietro, built by the Benedictines in the 10th century and rebuilt in the 13th century, it has a rectangular façade with three. The town is dominated by two medieval castles; the larger, called Rocca Maggiore, is a massive reconstruction by Cardinal
Ferrara is a city and comune in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy, capital of the Province of Ferrara. As of 2016 it had 132,009 inhabitants, it is situated 44 kilometres northeast of Bologna, on the Po di Volano, a branch channel of the main stream of the Po River, located 5 km north. The town has broad streets and numerous palaces dating from the Renaissance, when it hosted the court of the House of Este. For its beauty and cultural importance, it has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site; the first documented settlements in the area of the present-day Province of Ferrara date from the 6th century BC. The ruins of the Etruscan town of Spina, established along the lagoons at the ancient mouth of Po river, were lost until modern times, when drainage schemes in the Valli di Comacchio marshes in 1922 first revealed a necropolis with over 4,000 tombs, evidence of a population centre that in Antiquity must have played a major role. There is uncertainty among scholars about the proposed Roman origin of the settlement in its current location, for little is known of this period, but some archeologic evidence points to the hypothesis that Ferrara could have been originated from two small Byzantine settlements: a cluster of facilities around the Cathedral of St. George, on the right bank of the main branch of the Po, which ran much closer to the city than today, a castrum, a fortified complex built on the left bank of the river to defend against the Lombards.
Ferrara appears first in a document of the Lombard king Desiderius of 753 AD, when he captured the town from the Exarchate of Ravenna. The Franks, after routing the Lombards, presented Ferrara to the Papacy in 754 or 756. In 988 Ferrara was ceded by the Church to the House of Canossa, but at the death of Matilda of Tuscany in 1115 it became a free commune. During the 12th century the history of the town was marked by the wrestling for power between two preeminent families, the Guelph Adelardi and the Ghibelline Salinguerra. In 1264 Obizzo II of Este was thus proclaimed lifelong ruler of Ferrara, Lord of Modena in 1288 and of Reggio in 1289, his rule marked the end of the communal period in Ferrara and the beginning of the Este rule, which lasted until 1598. In 1452 Borso of Este was created duke of Modena and Reggio by Emperor Frederick III and in 1471 duke of Ferrara by Pope Paul II. Lionello and Ercole I were among the most important patrons of the arts in late 15th- and early 16th-century Italy.
During this time, Ferrara grew into an international cultural centre, renowned for its architecture, music and visual arts. The architecture of Ferrara benefited from the genius of Biagio Rossetti, requested in 1484 by Ercole I to draft a masterplan for the expansion of the town; the resulting "Erculean Addition" is considered one of the most important examples of Renaissance urban planning and contributed to the selection of Ferrara as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In spite of having entered its golden age, Ferrara was hit by a war against Venice fought and lost in 1482–84. Alfonso I married the notorious Lucrezia Borgia, he again fought Venice in the Italian Wars after joining the League of Cambrai. In 1509 he was excommunicated by Pope Julius II, but was able to overcome the Papal and Spanish armies in 1512 at the Battle of Ravenna; these successes were based on Ferrara's artillery, produced in his own foundry, the best of its time. At his death in 1534, Alfonso I was succeeded by his son Ercole II that in 1528 married Renée of France, the second daughter of Louis XII, thus bringing great prestige to the court of Ferrara.
Under his reign, the Duchy remained a cultural powerhouse. However, an earthquake struck the town in 1570, causing the economy to collapse, when Ercole II's son Alfonso II died without heirs, the House of Este lost Ferrara to the Papal States. Ferrara, a university city second only to Bologna, remained a part of the Papal States for 300 years, an era marked by a steady decline. In 1805–1814 it became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, a client-state of the French Empire. After the 1815 Congress of Vienna, Ferrara was given back to the Pope, now guaranteed by the Empire of Austria. A bastion fort erected in the 1600s by Pope Paul V on the site of and old castle called "Castel Tedaldo", at the south-west angle of the town, was thus occupied by an Austrian garrison from 1832 until 1859. All of the fortress was dismantled following the birth of the Kingdom of Italy and the bricks used for new constructions all over the town. During the last decades of the 1800s and the early 1900s, Ferrara remained a modest trade centre for its large rural hinterland that relied on commercial crops such as sugar beet and industrial hemp.
Large land reclamation works were carried out for decades with the aim to expand the available arable land and eradicate malaria from the wetlands along the Po delta. Mass industrialisation came to Ferrara only at the end of the 1930s with the set-up of a chemical plant by the Fascist regime that should have supplied the regime with synthetic rubber. During the Second World War Ferrara was bombed by Allied warplanes that targeted and destroyed railway links and industrial facilities. After the war, the industrial area in Pontelagoscuro was expanded to become a giant petrochemical compound operated by Montecatini and other companies, tha