Castello della Manta
Castello della Manta is a castle near Saluzzo, in Piedmont (northern Italy). The originary building, dating from the 12th century, was later enlarged and transformed into a noble residence by the family of Saluzzo della Manta, margraves of Saluzzo. Among the numerous halls, the Baronal Hall ( Salone Baronale) has a notable relevance for the frescoes decorating its walls, a rare masterwork of Late Gothic painting in northern Italy. The work is attributed to an anonymous Master of Castello della Manta. The cycle, completed soon after 1420, portrays a series of famous heroical figures (both males and females) probably inspired to members of the House of the Margraves of Saluzzo, and wearing precious dresses of the times; and the so-called Fountain of Youthness, a theme taken from the tradition of French medieval stories. They are inspired to the poem by Marquess Thomas III of Saluzzo, Le Chevalier Errant ). From the Mannerist Art of the late 16th century is instead the Sala delle Grottesche, commissioned by Marquess Michele Antonio around 1560. It has a finely painted ceiling, decorated with stuccoes, grotesques, ancient ruins and architectures, in the typical style of that age. Annexed to the castle is the church, whose apse has a series of frescoes about the life of Christ dating from the same time of the Baronal Hall decorations.