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Bradamante at Merlin’s Tomb

European Art

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Bradamante at Merlin’s Tomb

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Alexandre-Evariste Fragonard
French, 1780–1850

Date

ca. 1820

Medium

Oil on canvas

Accession #

1983.70

Dimensions

13 x 9 1/2 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 2, Gallery 208

Description

This mysterious, eerie scene might be taken from Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem of the 1500s, Orlando Furioso. The episode this painting might depict occurs in Canto III, verses 20–77, when the heroine Bradamante comes to the magician Merlin’s tomb and a vision of her descendants is conjured by the sorceress Melissa. Fragonard’s sketchy application of paint and the work’s supernatural light create a strong theatrical effect.

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