Un «cielo rovente»: il fondo rosso negli affreschi figurativi lombardi del XV secolo
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At least thirteen secular frescoes characterized by a red background, instead of a common blue one, have been preserved up to the present day in Lombardy. In this essay, alongside the best-known examples dated around the middle of 15th century, such as the Games cycle of Palazzo borromeo in Milan or the one at the Castello di Masnago (Varese), other frescoes from the beginning of the same century have been brought to light, which were never considered before for the background colour. these latter allow to backdate the spread of this pattern. the long-lasting statements for the red colour used as a preparatory base for the blue background is here questioned. Instead, it is suggested that the red background has its own role. Since these cycles must depend on a distinguished example, it is proposed to find it in the Castello visconteo of Pavia, for its prestige. Furthermore, the study offers an interpretation of the presence of the red background as the intent to imitate tapestries, especially French ones, which presence is documented in the Castle of Pavia itself.
keywordsLombard Late Gothic secular frescoes; red background; tapestries; Castle of Pavia; Palace of Francesco di Marsilio Gonzaga, Mantua; Castle of Lardirago; Castle of Masnago; Castle of Saint-Floret.
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