UNKNOWN MASTER, Italian
(active 1458-64 in Parma)
Picture cycle from the Stanza di Griselda1458-64
Castello Sforzesco, Milan
Pier Maria Rossi (1413-1482), the count of Berceto and fifth marquess of San Secondo was one of the most powerful feudal lords in the region of Parma. Beginning in c. 1450, he built a castle for his mistress, Bianca Pellegrini, and named it after her, Roccabianca. Here was a room that was completely painted between 1458 and 1464. The subject of the cycle was the famous Griselda from one of the novellas in Boccaccio's Decameron, a story frequently illustrated in fifteenth-century painting, especially on wedding chests (cassoni). The paintings in the Stanza di Griselda (now in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan) comprise twenty-four monochrome picture compartments divided into two registers. There is also an astrological program on the vaulted ceiling.
The paintings were executed by an unknown painter working in the manner of Niccolò da Varallo (1420-1489).