Nastagio degli Onesti


Nastagio degli Onesti
   A character from Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron whose story became a popular subject in painting during the 15th century, appearing mainly in domestic furnishings that provided didactic narratives. In the Decameron, Nastagio falls in love with a woman who rejects him. Disheartened, he squanders his fortune and spends his days in the woods drinking and dining with his friends. One day he witnesses a naked woman being chased by a knight. The knight kills her, feeds her innards to his hounds, and then explains to Nastagio that he was once in love with the woman but was rejected, so he committed suicide. When the woman also died, the two were condemned to eternally reenact her murder and the feeding of her entrails to the dogs. Then, the woman gets up, and the scene is replayed. Shaken, Nastagio invites the object of his affection to a banquet in the woods where they both witness the knight killing the woman. Horrified by the event, Nastagio's love decides to accept him as her husband. Sandro Botticelli rendered the story in four panels, three of which are now in the Prado, Madrid, and the other in a private collection. Executed in 1483, they were commissioned by the Medici for the wedding of Gianozzo Pucci, Lorenzo "the Magnificent's" nephew, to Lucrezia Bini. A panel by Domenico del Ghirlandaio in the Brooklyn Museum (after 1483) shows the chase of the nude woman by the knight and his dogs. These works were meant to elucidate the pivotal role of marriage and the family as one of the pillars of society.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

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