Angelica and Medoro
Oil on canvas
17 3/4 x 43/4 inches (45 x 37.5 cm)
Property of a Florida estate
The lovers Angelica and Medoro are characters in Ludovico Ariosto's 16th-century Italian epic poem Orlando Furioso (The Madness of Orlando). The story takes place during a war between the empire of Charlemagne and an invading army of Moors. Angelica is the pagan daughter of the king of Cathay, who is living at Charlemagne's court. Although loved by the poem's hero, the Christian paladin Orlando, Angelica rejects him for the Moorish soldier Medoro after havig been struck by an arrow from the bow of Cupid.
After Medoro is wounded in a skirmish, Angelica takes him to a herdsman's hut and nurses him back to health. In one of the poem's most famous scenes, Angelica carves their names on the trunk of a tree, a romantic incident that inspired artists from the late 16th century well into the 19th, as in this example. When Medoro recovers, the lovers elope to her home in Cathay.
When Orlando learns that Angelica has abandoned him, he is driven mad with despair. He goes on a rampage through Europe and Africa destroying everything in his way. The remainding cantos of the poem tell the convoluted story of his recovery and his return to his calling as a Christian knight.
C Property from the Estate of a Miami Collector
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