The fight between the Bonacolsi and Gonzaga in the Piazza Sordello in Mantua, by Domenico Morone, 1494


Battle between the Gonzaga and the Bonacolsi
MORONE, Domenico (b. ca. 1442, Verona, d. ca. 1518, Verona)
1494
Oil on wood
Palazzo Ducale, Mantua
This painting by Domenico Morone is highly stylized and shows the clash between two Mantuan factions. The action is portrayed almost like a jousting session, yet close observation illustrates the brutality of close quarter fighting. (From Jacob Burkhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance).

Francesco Gonzaga commissioned from Morone a painting to celebrate the Gonzaga's installation in Mantua. The theme of the painting was an event in 1328, when Luigi Gonzaga murdered Passerino Bonacolsi and usurped his position as capitano of the city. On a canvas more than three meters wide, Morone painted a view of the piazza in front of the Gonzaga palace as appeared then and filled it with miniature fighting figures. This large work can be placed in the tradition of narrative cycles by artists like Vittore Carpaccio and Gentile Bellini.
Source: Web Gallery of Art

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