Culture and Power of the Gonzaga Patronage: the angelic concert on the dome of the cathedral of Mantua (ca 1599-1607)

Licia Mari

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Under the patronage of Bishop Francesco Gonzaga (Prince of the Holy Roman Empire and Marquis of Ostiano, who, after his episcopate in Cefalù, ruled the Mantuan diocese from 1593 to 1620), the frescos on the dome, in the transept and in the apse of the cathedral of Mantua were renovated. Antonio Maria Viani (ca. 1555/60–1630), with his collaborators Orazio Lamberti (1552–1612) and Ippolito Andreasi (1548–1608), were responsible for this project, which had two clear objectives: the celebration of the Gonzagas and of the bishop’s religious teachings (by representing particular saints, liturgical objects and symbols). Angels are painted on the arches around the dome, towards the apse, the nave and on the transept. The angels are represented in dynamic poses, holding liturgical objects and musical instruments (lute, lira da braccio, viola da gamba, tuba). The most impressive composition is the fresco on the dome, showing the Glory of Paradise with blessing God, painted by Lamberti. It depicts the nine concentric celestial choirs, hierarchically ordered, from angels to seraphims. The former constitute the first choir, nearer to the earth and to human beings: they have look earthly, almost mortal, and are depicted in dynamic poses. Several of them play instruments, linking earth to the heavens, through music
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)111-120
Numero di pagine10
RivistaMusic in Art
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2012
Pubblicato esternamente


  • Gonzaga Patronage
  • Lamberti, Orazio
  • angelic concert
  • music iconography


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