Skip to content

The Fall of the Giants, Palazzo Te

The Fall of the Giants, Palazzo Te

Theresa Ganz
The Fall of the Giants, Palazzo Te, 2017
Archival pigment print
43 inch diameter

Ruane Center for the Humanities, Ground Floor

About the Work

The Fall of the Giants, an immersive fresco by artist and architect Giulio Romano that adorns the walls in the Palazzo Te, depicts a race of giants who, according to the poet Ovid, preceded humans and rebelled against the Greek gods. Palazzo Te has no dome, yet the fresco’s composition gives the illusion of one to confront and spatially involve viewers within the scenes of anger and violence. In effect, the room forms a kind of round panorama, containing a single, thematically uniform painting without beginning or end. Breaking with the conventions of classical architecture while also bending the rules of Italian Renaissance painting, Palazzo Te and The Fall of Giants are some of the grandest examples of the Mannerist style still in existence.


Ganz’s reconstruction of the illusory dome using images sourced from the Internet does two things at once: it demonstrates how art and culture innovates and evolves in tandem with architecture and technology, while also reminding us to always look carefully and critically, lest we be pulled into a spiraling vortex of chaos and confusion.