MANTEGNA, Andrea
(b. 1431, Isola di Carturo, d. 1506, Mantova)

The Meeting (detail)

1465-74
Walnut oil on plaster
Camera degli Sposi, Palazzo Ducale, Mantua

The three picture panels of the west wall are also conceived as imaginary views through a curtained loggia. The painted curtains have been drawn so far to the side that we can see a landscape beneath a blue sky dotted with clouds that extends across the entire width of the wall. This panorama, consisting of rolling hills and occasional bizarre outcropping of rock, is enlivened by thriving, well-fortified cities and country people hard at work in the fields. Adorning the countryside are stone walls, dwellings aqueducts, and marble statues. This glimpse of world filled with industry and prosperity is possibly an ideal picture of the marquisate of Mantua. Despite the various Roman monuments - the Pyramid of Cestius, the Colosseum, and so on - this landscape is not a view of Rome, it is a landscape based on literary sources, one that Mantegna enriched in his typical fashion with archeological props.