The Gonzaga Vase

Alari Bonacolsi Pier Jacopo detto Antico (Mantova (?), 1460 ca. - Gazzuolo, 1528)

Mantua, c.1460 – Gazzuolo, 1528

Cast bronze, height: 31cm

Inv. 2259

Galleria Estense di Modena

This vase was recorded for the first time 24 April 1797 in an inventory of objects transported from the Palazzo Ducale to the Liceo di Modena. On the body of the vase the festive maritime procession, led by Neptune closely followed by the nymph Amphitrite, may relate to the 1479 wedding of Gianfrancesco Gonzaga and his wife Antonia del Balzo (Lords of Rodigo and Bozzolo) whose emblems also feature on the vase. It is one of the great Mantuan masterpieces in bronze: the delicate ornamentation perfectly combines ideas from antique sculpture (particularly knowledge of Roman sarcophagi reliefs) with echoes from Andrea Mantegna’s engravings.

Vaso Gonzaga
Vaso Gonzaga