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The Core Curriculum

Sandro Botticelli, The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti, 1483

1483 CE
Date is approximate

Botticelli's vivid portrayal of the story of Nastagio degli Onesti (Decameron Day 5, novella 8) was commissioned by Lorenzo de' Medici as a wedding present for Giannozzo Picci, a suggestive fact in and of itself.  The tale is a grisly one, and Botticelli does not hold back in his depiction of an unfortunate woman's punishment for not having been open to love while she was living.  Nastagio's use of these apparitions to obtain the love of a reluctant woman in Boccaccio's tale may itself be seen as an artistic response to Dante and a playful reversal of key themes from the Divine Comedy


Sandro Botticelli: Story of Nastagio degli Onesti, First Panel|Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archive/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.|Museo del Prado via ARTSTOR

Artistic Response