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Banquet Scene from the Tale of Nastagio degli Onesti, in Boccaccio's "Decameron"

A companion panel is in the Brooklyn Museum (25.95)

David Ghirlandaio (David Bigordi), Italian (active Florence), 1452 - 1525

Made in Italy, Europe

Late 15th century

Tempera on panel

27 5/8 × 53 1/2 inches (70.2 × 135.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
Cat. 64

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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This painting illustrates an episode from Boccaccio's Decameron, a collection of stories written from 1348 to 1353. The woman being chased is a ghost, who is captured and slaughtered every week by the knight she had scorned in life. When Nastagio, the young man in the foreground, learns that this spectacle takes place every Friday afternoon, he hosts a banquet at the site. Among his guests he includes a young woman who has refused his love. She is so moved by the scene that she consents to marry him.