Most illustrious Madame (madama), as something has happened that never has before, I turn to you in the hope of being treated as your servant, and as such gain some respect. In the past days Bigoloto accused one of my servants at our house on the river by San Domenico [the Church of San Domenico near the “Rio” in Mantua] of having deposited trash from said house in a little square of ours where in times past all the neighbors deposited trash, and still do from time to time; and this place [square] is not on the street, on the contrary, it is toward the furnace (stufa), an unfrequented place. Therefore I pray that Your Ladyship will deign to have master Johan Batista Catani speak to Bigoloto or to the magistrate (capitano di giustizia) that if for this once he [my servant] has failed, perhaps having been mistaken, it be ordered that he should be forgiven. Kissing your hand, I continually commend myself to thee, this October 1516
Antico de Bonacolsi
Authorization to reproduce number 37-2011.
Isabella d’Este (1474–1539)
became Antico’s principal patron after the death of her husband’s uncle, the bishop Ludovico Gonzaga, in 1511. The daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, Ercole d’Este, Isabella married the Marchese of Mantua, Francesco Gonzaga, in 1490. She became famous in her own time for her dynamic personality and cultural sophistication and was one of the few women to create a studiolo. Antico made bronzes that were preserved on cornices in her studiolo. After her husband’s death in 1519 Isabella became regent of Mantua for her son Federico Gonzaga.
Giancristoforo Romano, Isabella d’Este, after 1498, bronze, National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection