Ferrara is a city in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. The town has broad streets and numerous palaces dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, when it hosted the court of the House of Este. For its beauty and cultural importance it has been qualified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.

The history of the Renaissance city of Ferrara is closely bound to the Este family and their rule.  The city had been an important medieval centre, a free city with its own laws and even its own mint, but only under the Este’s was it to become an internationally known capital with great importance for the arts, economics, ideology and religion. The court flourished in splendour and for two centuries was on a par with cities such as Florence and Venice or with other great European courts in France or Spain.

Artists such as Piero della Francesca, Mantegna and Michelangelo attended the Este Court and worked there. With great support from these artists, the Este family created the first example of a studiolo and their practice of art collection became a model for both the Medici family and the Pope.

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