Women on the Edge: The ‘Saletta delle Dame’ of the Palazzo Salvadego in Brescia


in The Music Room in Early Modern France and Italy

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265055
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754166 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Women on the Edge: The ‘Saletta delle Dame’ of the Palazzo Salvadego in Brescia

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Form and content give rise to the question of function in the Saletta delle Dame of the Palazzo Salvadego. It is a uniquely decorated space in which frescos cover the four walls, treating the viewer to an all-round vista of the countryside. Mediating between illusion and reality are eight life-size depictions of women in contemporary dress, whom, set in pairs behind a fictive balustrade, focus their attention towards the centre of the room. In the vaulted ceiling are painted musical instruments, suggesting a possible use for this space. The decorative effect is unlike any other room from this period. This chapter explores the imagery of the Saletta and considers its function within the broader context of frescoed Italian Renaissance rooms.

Keywords: Brescia; sixteenth century; marriage; frescoes; dress; women; musical instruments; Saletta delle Dame; Palazzo Salvadego

Chapter.  6328 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Opera

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