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ArtistFra Angelico (formerly attributed to the Master of the Griggs Crucifixion)
TitleScenes from Boccaccio's "Il ninfale fiesolano"
Creation Dateca. 1415-1420
Medium & Supporttempera on panel
Dimensions11 3/8 in. x 49 13/16 in. (28.9 cm. x 126.5 cm.)
Credit LineGift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
Please suggest keywords to describe this object. Separate multiple keywords by commas. Example: road,angel,technology,toy
This panel once formed the front of a cassone, a chest used in a Florentine household for storing fine clothes. A bride’s dowry traditionally included such cases. This panel depicts scenes from Giovanni Boccaccio’s poem Il Ninfale Fiesolano (The Nymphs of Fiesole), written ca. 1343. The painting recounts the tale of the tragic love of a mortal youth (Africo) for one of the nymphs (Mensola) in the entourage of goddess Diana. In the first scene, Diana holds court in a verdant garden, warning the nymphs to beware of men. The heroine Mensola, to the right, points to the second scene, in which Venus, the goddess of love, appears to the handsome Africo in a dream. In scene three, his parents warn Africo not to pursue Diana’s nymphs. Finally, he reveals himself to Mensola (swimming with her companions), who falls in love at the sight of him. A companion chest, now lost, might have completed the tale with additional scenes, including the transformation of the nymph Mensola into the river of the same name. In 2005 Laurence Kantor, a noted scholar of early Italian art, hypothesized that this work was painted by an adolescent Guido di Pietro, later known as Fra Angelico, then learning his art in the workshop of Lorenzo Monaco.
Keywords: apparition attribution history bather bird cassone conservation history Diana dowry dream figurative figure flora fruit tree garden goddess group of people image of Fiesole image of Tuscany love man marriage narrative night sky nightingale nude nymph reclining related to literature relationship river rock sleep transparency tree trunk vision Venus Venus woman
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