About the middle of the 15th century under the rule of Borso d’Este, Ferrara developed into a cultural center of the first order. An independent school of painting grew there, which stood in sharp contrast to those in Tuscany, Lombardy and Venice. Cosmè Tura, Ferrara born, was the first, most original, and best-known artist of the Ferrara school, introducing to the Este city a strange and totally unique style. Being of about the same age as Mantegna, he had, as Mantegna, studied under Francesco Squarcione in Padua in the 1450s, where he had obviously taken a great interest in the works of Donatello.
On his return to Ferrara in 1456, he was appointed court painter to Borso d’Este and never left the city again. Unfortunately details on his manifold activities there are scanty, but his surviving panel paintings give a glimpse of his artistic personality. Architectural elements inspired by Antiquity, fantastic landscapes, sharply outlined almost like etchings, and brilliant perspective constructions which challenge logical spatial unity, add up to a style which in varying degrees characterized the artists of the Ferrara School, Francesco del Cossa, Ercole de’Roberti.
Tura was also in charge of decorating the Este's residences. Thus, between 1460 and 1470 Tura collaborated with Cossa in painting the Pictures of the Months in the Palazzo Schifanoia; their respective contributions cannot always be separated.
Tura died in Ferrara in 1495.
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Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.