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The Core Curriculum

Decameron III.1, by an Anonymous Artist, 15th cent.

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Decameron III.1, by an Anonymous Artist, 15th cent.

This illumination from a fifteenth-century manuscript illustrates a steamy scene from the first story of Day III of Boccaccio's Decameron, in which an itinerant young man feigns deafness and dumbness in order to secure gainful employment at a remote convent. He ends up being sexually used and abused by each of the resident nuns, one by one. In this diptych, one of the nuns has a go with the gardener in his shed, while the others patiently wait their turn. This story provided the backdrop for the 2007 loosely Decameron-based film Virgin Territory, starring Mischa Barton and Hayden Christensen.


Decameron III, 10: Anonymous|WikiMedia Commons

Artistic Response
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