Saturday, October 8, 2016

Orlando Furioso’s Imaginative Universe 500 Years Later

By Susan Moore
Minerva Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue , 1502, Andrea Mantegna. Musee du Louvre, Paris
Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto lays claim to being one of the most influential works of European literature, not least due to the artistic response it provoked – from the Tiepolo frescoes in the Villa Valmarana to the celebrated illustrations of Gustave Doré. Rather than examine this critical history, Guido Beltramini and Adolfo Tura’s exhibition at the Palazzo dei Diamanti, marking the 500th anniversary of the publication of Ariosto’s epic poem in Ferrara in 1516, instead delves into the poet’s imaginative universe. The show’s premise and subtitle is ‘Cosa vedeva Ariosto quando chiudeva gli occhi’ (what Ariosto saw when he closed his eyes). Its evocation of the fantastical realms that the poet created for his chivalric romance is achieved through an examination of the very real world of Ariosto, and the literary and visual sources that fired his imagination. [link]