The Damsel and Orlando

Benjamin West American

Not on view

The Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto’s epic "Orlando furioso" (1516) enjoyed revived popularity in the eighteenth century. In this melodramatic scene, the costumes, the physical types, and, especially, the poses are reminiscent of the style of the Italian High Renaissance, which West greatly admired. The hero, Orlando, is shown as he learns that he has lost his place in the affections of Angelica, who now loves someone else and has dispensed with a jeweled bracelet Orlando had given her. The painter concentrated all the work’s tension in the theatrical pose of Orlando, who, in the wildness of his grief, loses his mind.

The Damsel and Orlando, Benjamin West (American, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 1738–1820 London), Oil on canvas, American

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