Cavallini-Sgarbi Foundation

Museum (Italy)
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About

Built in the medieval period nearby the church of Santa Maria delle Bocche, in 1471 the palace passed from the notary public Rinaldo Mezzaprile do the Ariosto family, along with the adjoining building (the Magna Domus of the distinguished family), to which is linked by a bridge in vicolo del Granchio. In 1481 the building passed to the canon Brunoro Ariosto: the Christological monogram placed in the façade dates probably back to this period, in memory of the preaching of Bernardino da Siena in Ferrara, who adopted it as his emblem. The marble portal with archivolt and key bracket can be dated back to the sixteenth century
While Brunoro was canon in Rovigo, his brother Nicolò established himself in the palace, of whom the world-famous Ludovico was born, at the time ten years-old. In this building, the author-to be of the Orlando Furioso studied with his tutor, Domenico Catabena from Argenta, and in all likelihood he wrote his first poems and few premature theatrical texts. When his father died, the great poet left Ferrara in order to go to Canossa as castellan of the Fortress, although he returned to live inthese rooms several times, until when he bought the house in the quarter of Mirasole. In the house situated in via Del Giuoco del Pallone 31, of which he later became the only owner, Ludovico wrote long passages of the first draft of the Orlando Furioso, published in 1516.
After the Ariostos, the palace passed to the noble family Canani and then to the Federicis, Righettis, Agnolettis, until it was bought by the landscape painter and art critic Ferdinando Ughi in the nineteenth century. He then sold it to the painter Oreste Buzzi in 1913, who had just came back from Brazil with considerable financial resources, after having also worked for the President of the Republic. Upon Buzzi’s death, in 1943, the son Ugo gave the house to the Cavallinis, parents of Bruno (Eleonora Cavallini’s father), Rina and Romana (mother of Mario, Giovanni, Bruno and Anna Verdi ). Rina Cavallini got married to Giuseppe Sgarbi and gave birth to Vittorio and Elisabetta Sgarbi.
Of Renaissance taste is the front, exquisitely ornamental in the tradition of the Ferrara “terracotta.” The ancient portico on the ground floor was tamponed during the sixteenth century, while the façade was raised after Buzzi bought it according to his own plan, and he intelligently tried to keep the stylistic unity with the piano nobile and decorated it personally with fine tempera colours of late Art Nouveau and Art Deco taste, both on the ceilings and on the walls. At the time when Oreste Buzzi bought the house, there was a big room on the ground floor (beck then a wood and carbon shop) where, according to the tradition, Ludovico Ariosto staged his plays in front of his family, as a preview. [source]