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The Room of the Arrows - East wall, Lunette, The Device of the Turtle Dove
The Room of the Arrows - Vault, IThe Device of the Arrows
The Room of the Arrows - Vault

Like the room of the Briefs next door, it was added a few years after 1506-1508, when the work on the main body of the building was terminated.
The Arrow device in the cloister vault is in an excellent state of conservation. The image in the central oculus shows a bundle of arrows tied with a ribbon, alluding to the power of the bond of love. Other important Gonzaga devices can be seen among the emblems in the lunettes, here surrounded by plant garlands. The devices include wings, the dog, the muzzle, the glove and the dove.
The works on display in this section bear testimony to Mantua’s strong attraction during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to the Classical age and antiquity. The masterminds behind the transformation of the court and the city according to the humanist culture of the time were, commissioned by the Gonzaga, Andrea Mantegna and Leon Battista Alberti. It was thanks to them and their successor Giulio Romano that Mantua became a vanguard city in Italy, artistically and culturally considered almost as a new Rome. Directly inspired by classical antiquity, the artists created works drawn from original antique models. This led to artefacts of great refinement which, in their harmony of form and proportions and their meticulous attention to detail, interpreted the spirit of the highpoint of classical culture, arousing a desire for classicism in noble and cultivated patrons, who competed with one another to decorate their palazzi with these works, placing them beside original Roman or even, though very rarely, Greek pieces.