First, I would like to appreciate the endeavors that the government has undertaken in ensuring that the economy is nourishing. The focus has been on the architectural artwork imminent in most of the cities in our esteemed country. My focus is on the City of Urbino, which is endowed with a unique structural plan that has attracted scholars from different parts of the world. One cannot visit the city without setting a sight to the famous Federico’s Studiolo. A Studiolo is a room that measures 3.60 x 3.35m, and does not face the city. The room is decorated with symbolic objects, latticework doors, benches, and beautiful shelves denoting the advanced work of the modern art. The latticework doors of the Studiolo convey cultural practices of the Italians. Benches are used to hold musical instruments, and shelves are embodied with representations of musical scores and books. In addition, scientific instruments that can be found in this Studiolo include an armillary sphere and an astrolabe. Armor and weapons, and study furnishing are systematically placed in the room. The Italians have found it unique, and tend to celebrate the existence of the Studiolo in their region.
The History of the Studiolo and Federico II
The first record of work on the Studiolo dates from July 1491, when the room was adjacent to the apartments of Montefeltro of Federico II. Ideally, Federico II was an enlightened noble person, who sponsored various artists and poets. Among beneficiaries of his sponsorship were Piero della Francesca and Paolo Uccello. According to various scholars, the Studiolo was more than a mansion; they often referred it as a fortress. The architect, Luciano Laurana, designed the project, and envisioned it to be one of the palaces in the region. Indeed, it is self-sufficient, since it contains 250 rooms, a splendid courtyard famously known as Cortile d’Onore and regal staircases. The palace is currently housing governmental offices and municipal archives.
The outside part of the room is linear, having only portals and windows that have become vital representation of Urbino. The Studiolo’s main entrance directs visitors to the courtyard and the museum that houses various works of art. The ground floor of the building contains manuscripts written in original languages: Greek, Hebrew and Latin. It is known as the Biblioteca del Duca. These manuscripts were received in the early 17th century, when Urbiona was a part of the Vatican Library. Adjacent to the library there are Ambrogio Barocci’s works that symbolize machinery and ships. They were used as decorations on the entrance seats. In addition, the ground floor contains Museo Archeologico created by Francesco Stoppani in the 18th century. It has five rooms.
Most of you who have visited the Studiolo will agree with me on the magnificent decorations embodied on the staircase that leads to the first floor. Ambrogio Barocci did these decorations. In the first floor, the first rooms are ancient and contain great masterpieces of art. For instance, in the Sala Delle Udienze, there are Flagellazione and Madonna di Senigallia developed by Franscesca Piero between 1415 and 1492. They are among vital artistic works, loaded with characters and symbols. Apart from these magnificent works of art, the first floor also contains the Studiolo del Duca, which is a room having half-open doors, trompe-l’oeil shelves, and the intarsia work. It demonstrates symbolic objects imminent in the ancient periods, including music and letters, architecture, astronomy, and art, created by Baccio Pontelli in his renowned Florentine workshop. The upper side of the Studiolo contains 28 portraits of royal men created by Justus and Pierre Berruegete, both from Gand. Giuliano da Maiano, from the same Florentine workshop, completed the ceiling.
Apart from the staircase leading to the first floor, a round staircase leads to downstairs. There are two rooms downstairs designed for Christian and Pagan figures that symbolize their worship traits. However, the origin of these design has never been clearly outlined. Italian scholars have conducted research to determine historical reasons for the development of the ground floor of the Studiolo.
Federico II was one of the most powerful emperors in Italy. His cultural and political ambitions were founded in Sicily, and his reign spread across Germany and Italy. However, following his death, his enemies prevailed. He was a man of extraordinary abilities, culture, and energy. Many philosophers have searched for various superlatives to describe his character. Federico II viewed himself as a successor of Antiquity in Roman Empire, as he claimed the title of the chieftainship from 1212 until 1215.