Scene from a Novella

Liberale da Verona Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 604

These companion panels are from the front of a chest (cassone) and show two episodes from an unidentified story, or novella. In one, a youth is smitten by a maiden who appears at a window and seems to gesture for him to join her inside. In the other, they engage in an erotically charged game of chess where she is about to lose. Both were common themes in the amatory literature of the Renaissance. The figures’ bleached blond, frizzy hair was the height of fashion in fifteenth-century Siena. Liberale was a brilliant illuminator and worked on choirbooks in Siena between 1467 and 1476.

Scene from a Novella, Liberale da Verona (Italian, Verona ca. 1445–1527/29 Verona), Tempera on wood

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