The interior of the Teresiana Library has an austere appearance, ideal for who wishes to spend hours reading and studying.
The library is enriched by several shelves, wood work designed to hold the most important books of the collection. The Teresiana has always hosted some of the most important artistic and scientific collections.
The Library, restored and reopened to the visitors in 2014, houses an extraordinary collection of books. More than 400,000 volumes among which 15,000 incunabula and more than 1,300 manuscripts. The incunabula section is one of the most significant and rich in Italy. To be more precise, it is composed of 1,265 volumes, for a total of 1,083 different editions. Twenty-four titles are the only copies in Italy, among which five are the only copies in the whole world. There are also illuminated copies and prestigious woodcut editions.
The Franciscan Coronelli was a geographer and cartographer. He is the author of the book Libro dei Globi di misure differenti. The first pair of Globes by Coronelli kept in the Teresiana Library are appreciated above all for the dimensions, one metre in diameter. The globe of the earth was designed following precise cartographic measurements, and is embellished by small animals both real and imaginary, and by scenes depicting people travelling through the different inhabited areas.
Matteo Greuter is the author of four globes, kept in the Teresiana Library, two globes of the earth and two celestial globes. Greuter is best known for having created a large map of Italy. The globes allowed him to insert additional representations, here we find a series of figures that are very refined and have a strong pictorial quality.
The second pair of globes by Coronelli is smaller than the first. Nothing however is lost in the descriptions and lines that form constellations and trace continents. Both globes are placed on an interesting wooden structure, which of course is Atlas, who is bending under the weight of the sphere he is condemned to bear.
This painting depicts the surroundings as they appeared at the time of the erection of the Teresian Library. In the background, looking through the open window, it is possible to identify the contour of the great dome of the church of Sant'Andrea, the town's landmark. Instead of books and work tables, the subject of the painting is the important collection of ancient works in marble, later moved to the Palazzo Ducale, property of the city. The absence of visitors and the vertical harmony of the work, today rightly kept in the halls of the library, create a sense of immersion and of wonder.
The key feature of the frescoes of this room is the relatively small dimension of the figures, traced with a skilful and graceful stroke; behind them the landscape and an impressive blue sky. Everything in the fresco is blue except these figures that are painted with more intense colours: the frescoes are a vivid depiction of some scenes of the life of Christ.
Ideato e promosso da / Founded and Promoted by:
Mattia Palazzi (Sindaco del Comune di Mantova)
con Lorenza Baroncelli (Assessore alla rigenerazione urbana e del territorio, marketing urbano, progetti e relazioni internazionali del Comune di Mantova)
Coordinamento Scientifico / Scientific Coordinator:
Curatore testi e immagini / Superintendent texts and images:
Foto di / Photo by:
Gian Maria Pontiroli
In collaborazione con / In collaboration with:
Un ringraziamento speciale a / A special thanks to:
Pasquale Di Viesti
Emma Catherine Gainsforth