La case del mercante

The family was originally from Milan, and settled in Mantua under the permission of Ludovico Gonzaga, who approved of the arrival of outside merchants in Mantua.
Boniforte therefore had his shop built.
It specialised mainly in fabrics and precious materials imported from Venice.
The building had the dual function of shop on the street level and home on the upper level - as the owner wished.
We have no evidence of who was responsible for carrying out the work.
It is enough to look up to notice the beauty and artistic diversity of the Casa del Mercante.
In fact, it is very different from its surroundings, especially due to the oriental notes that are featured in the peculiar windows.
It is specifically the borders that make this old shop building unique.
With heavy leaf and curl motifs, it is reminiscent of Venetian art in the Fifteenth century, and subsequently of oriental art, as Venice was heavily influenced by the East for commercial reasons.
Casa del Mercante is one of the most evocative artistic corners of Mantua.
(Irene Girardini)
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