Unification by replication: Music, architecture, and the imperial image of Ercole I d'Este
Mowrey, Hannah Hutchens
Barnett, Gregory R.
Master of Music
Throughout his reign, Duke Ercole I d'Este (1431--1505) modeled his image as a ruler after those of classical antiquity. This determined and focused agenda was the driving force behind the artistic outpouring of late fifteenth-century Ferrara. By drawing parallels between the music of his most prominent court composer, Johannes Martini, and the classical architecture of Ferrara, I will demonstrate that Ercole's aspirations brought artistic unity to the city. Ercole's musical, architectural, and physical enhancements to Ferrara were unprecedented, and scholars have long admired them as individual accomplishments. Yet a close examination of Ercole's endeavors as a whole reveals a city unified by a specific, imitative technique. This technique relied on extensive quotation, and it is found throughout all of Ferrara's artistic media, reflecting Ercole's efforts to magnify and immortalize his imperial image.