The frescoed picture of the duke and his family on the walls of the Camera degli Sposi looks so peaceful — you would never guess that a murder has just taken place.Prince Lodovico of Mantua invites the painter Mantegna to his palace to decorate one of the rooms. The painting is slowly completed and the prince's secretary records its progress in his gossip-laden diary. The story is then taken up by the prince's daughter, the dwarf Nana, whose story digs deeper into characters and motivations around the palace, and is quite forthright about deceits and vendettas, assassination and incest within its walls. It is completed by the painter's young son, Bernardino, who introduces a note of high fantasy into the narrative. What results is a beautiful yet startling picture of the Renaissance, as rich and colorful as the men and women depicted on the palace walls.
eBook The Painted Room