COSTA, Lorenzo the Elder
(b. ca. 1460, Ferrara, d. 1535, Mantova)

The Reign of Comus

c. 1511
Oil on canvas, 152 x 238 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting was commissioned by Isabella d'Este for her studiolo in the Palazzo Ducale, Mantua where she kept her collection of small luxury objects. Isabella's court advisor, the poet Paride da Ceresara, devised a program of classical allegories for the room, some of which was awarded to Costa. Well-suited to Isabella d'Este's sophisticated retinue, these complex allegories - elaborated from a mixture of classical, medieval and modern sources - are about love and virtue.

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