Palazzo Fantuzzi (Fantuzzi Palace), Bologna

Palazzo Fantuzzi (Fantuzzi Palace), Bologna

Built in 1517 on the grounds of former medieval dwellings, this structure – now partly dedicated to exhibitions – once served as the residence of the esteemed Fantuzzi family, prominent members of the Bolognese Senate. Its striking facade harkens back to the Tosco-Roman architectural tradition of the 16th century, embellished with depictions of elephants, alluding to the Fantuzzis' heraldic emblem.

Construction reached its completion in 1680, coinciding with the election of Carlo Ridolfo Fantuzzi as Gonfalonier. In a gesture of self-celebration, he commissioned the installation of a new staircase within the palace, leading guests to the grand ballroom on the noble floor. Crafted by Pietro Canali, the celebrated staircase is adorned with statues depicting Hercules and Atlas.

Visitors to the second floor have the opportunity to explore the magnificent hall, adorned with frescoes crafted by Francesco Galli Bibiena between 1678 and 1684. Departing from conventional frontal perspectives, Bibiena pioneered a new approach to architectural painting, employing corner perspectives. On the wall is a simulated asymmetrical open gallery populated by deities and mythological beings. Bibiena's mastery in figure painting, enhanced by cleverly painted colonnades and wings, creates an illusion of expanded space, captivating and deceiving the viewer. Opposite the windows, a painted verdant garden provides a theatrical backdrop, offering glimpses into imaginative landscapes. Noteworthy artists such as Angelo Michele Colonna, known for his contributions to the Royal Palace of Madrid and the Palace of Versailles, also contributed to the frescoes decorating other rooms within the palace.

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Palazzo Fantuzzi (Fantuzzi Palace) on Map

Sight Name: Palazzo Fantuzzi (Fantuzzi Palace)
Sight Location: Bologna, Italy (See walking tours in Bologna)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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