Inaugurated in 2011, today Palazzo Fava is Genus Bononiae’s Exhibition Centre. Covering an area of more than 2600 square metres, Palazzo Fava regularly houses national and international exhibitions like The Girl with a Pearl Earring and From Cimabue to Morandi-Felsina Pittrice.
Frescoed on the noble floor by the young Annibale, Agostino and Ludovico Carracci, Palazzo Fava was defined by Roberto Longhi an historical novel, imagined on the great previous painting that was able to overcome mannerism in order to openly and direcly communicate not as a book but as a window. The frescoes are the first important cycles of the Carraccis’ career, they were commissioned by Filippo Fava in 1584. Among all the frescoed panels, the episode about the Enchantments of Medea stands out. The sorceress is sitting naked about to bathe herself in a creek under the moon rays; this fresco was defined as the first modern nude in art history, by the art historian Andrea Emiliani.
The origin of Palazzo Fava dates back to medieval time, but the current structure was built during the Renaissance through the restoration wanted by The Fava family, who gained ownership of the building in 1546.
The history of the Fava family, one of the city’s oldest families, was characterized, from the beginning, by exponents that distinguished themselves in science, politics and letters. On 22 may 1579 Filippo Fava married Ginevra Orsi and few years later, in 1584, commissioned the young Ludovico, Annibale e Agostino Carracci to decor the rooms and the hall of Palazzo Fava’s noble floor.
After the extinction of the Fava-Ghisilieri, the Palace was owned by the Medica Family, then became property of the Grand Hotel Majestic.
In 2005 the entire complex was bought by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, completely restored and returned to the city as a Centre for Exhibitions.
Palazzo Fava represented for Ludovico, Agostino and Annibale Carracci the first occasion to prove their artistic abilities. <br>In the cycle of Jason and Medea, that decorates the noble floor, the Carracci reached high levels of anti-academic naturalism and painting maturity, innovating the fresco cycles’ concept that up to that moment only provided many decorations without any narration.
Through this late 16th century masterpiece the three artists also undermined the traditional conception of narrative scheme, representing more actions within the same panel thus reaching high levels of stylistic modernity.
The other rooms are decorated by a fresco cycle depicting some episodes of the Eneyd, realized by Ludovico Carracci and some known (Francesco Albani, Bartolomeo Cesi) and unknown disciples.