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The Este Of Ferrara | Descended From Trojan Princes?

Leonello d'Este by Pisanello

Leonello d'Este,
Duke of Ferrara
fresco detail

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The Italian Renaissance Este family of Ferrara patronized a privileged group of artists during the fifteenth century in the court of Niccolo III d'Este. Partial to themes of courtly recreation, Este palaces were decorated with beautiful frescoes revolving around themes of mythology and often flavored with medieval chivalry. With claims of heritage from Trojan princes, Niccolo d'Este's son Leonello was interested in art with a humanistic content rendered in a realistic style with elements of symbolism and allegory often found in the art of illuminators. 

Working for the Este family at various times were the artists Pisanello, Piero della Francesca, Cosimo Tura, Jacopo Bellini, Francisco del Cossa, Giudo Mazzoni, and Ecole de'Roberti.

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

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