The central hall of Ferrara’s medieval Palazzo Schifanoia is decorated with a cycle of fifteenth-century frescoes representing the calendar months. These are depicted through scenes of courtly and commercial life, figures of the zodiac, personified virtues, and mythological divinities. To Aby Warburg, the German scholar who founded a library devoted to the science of culture as part of the University of London, the key to understanding these frescoes lay not in a traditional art historical analysis of style and attribution but in a philological and historical investigation which led to Warburg’s 1912 publication on astrology in the Palazzo, defined by Ernst Gombrich as “the culmination” of the scholar’s career. “Aby Warburg and the history of astrological imagery” in Palazzo Schifanoia (until 22 November) shows archive material from the Warburg Institute in London which charts the scholar’s continuing search for new methods of interpreting the history of culture. For information, tel: +39 (0)532 62038.
Ferrara pays homage to Aby Warburg
Palazzo Schifanoia displays archive material from the Warburg Institute to commemorate her work
31 August 1998