• The Patience suite

    The Patience suite

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The patience suite

Saint Catherine's tower and the rooms adjacent to it were converted for the first time at the end of the 15th century by the young Alfonso who was yet to become the 3rd duke of Ferrara, and it is thought that he had his workshops and assorted "chemical apparatus" placed there; he had access to the Pavilion Garden through the ravelin.

Following a devastating fire in february 1554, the rooms around St. Catherine's tower were refurbished and given over to a new suite of rooms at the behest of Ercole II. The redecorating lasted two years and was completed in 1556.
Ercole II, who was lord of Ferrara between 1534 and 1559, had Girolamo da Carpi design and decorate the new rooms with an elegant depiction of the virtue of patience as the central theme.
The "Patience Suite" in the St. Catherine's tower section were made up of this "camara della Pazienza", an adjoining room, a larger room, a towerlet, a lounge area, a small loggia and very probably a small roof garden referred to in documents as the "zardin novo suso le lastre" (new garden on the terrace).
As well as "la Pazienza" by Camillo Filippi and "l'Occasione" by Girolamo da Carpi, "Pace" and "Giustizia" by Battista Dossi adorned the suite walls. These works were accompanied by frescoes that had been painted and gilded by numerous other artists under Court patronage (Girolamo Bonaccioli, Leonardo da Brescia, Battista Bolognesi, Battista Dossi). There were also portraits of the noble family painted by Jacopo Vighi di Argenta in the loggia.
This collection made the Patience Suite somewhat special in its own time. The suite was located on the upper "noble" floor and faced West but unfortunately there is nothing left of it today to remind us of how it was.
The suite was completely destroyed by Papal legates who took over the rule of the city in 1598 and its current state is entirely due to restoration work carried out in the 1930's.
The paintings that had adorned the walls were transferred to Modena after the Este Duchy became part of the Holy See and most of them were sold to Saxon princes in the mid 18th century.

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