c. 1427-28
Pen and brown ink, with brush and brown wash, on paper
19.3 x 17 cm.  (7-5/8" x 6-3/4")
Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Scenes from Boccaccio's The Nymphs of Fiesole ("Il ninfale fiesolano")
c. 1415-20
28.9 cm. x 126.5 cm. (11-3/8" x 4' 1-13/16")
Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Kress Foundation: wonderful zoom image (for first item in list, click on "image")

This panel formed part of a marriage chest (cassone), a decorated wooden chest used to store household goods. Such chests were usually decorated with scenes that provided moral instruction to a young married couple.

The Nymphs of Fiesole is a celebration of youth and its natural impulses.  It is considered the best of Giovanni Boccaccio's minor works.

The panel tells the story in scenes from left to right: 

- In the upper left corner, the young man Africo spies on a group of nymphs.

- He is then visited by the temptress Venus in a dream. 

- He next encounters his elderly parents, who attempt to dissuade him from his lustful purposes. 

- Finally,  he disguises himself as a nymph to enter the pool and embrace the startled object of his affections.