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PInabello is Drawn to the Light from Merlin's Cave

Jean Honoré Fragonard French

Not on view

The subject of this drawing had long been identified as the climactic moment in canto 23 of Orlando Furioso, when Orlando realizes that his beloved Angelica has fallen in love with a Saracen soldier, having found their names inscribed on a rock. More recently, however, it has been reidentified as a scene from canto 2, in which Pinabello, a cowardly knight in Charlemagne’s army, is drawn toward the light streaming from the wizard Merlin’s lair. The sheet displays a virtuosic deployment of wash; a flourish of squiggles denotes the knight’s horse, as well as the soft masses of foliage in which he and his horse are embedded.

PInabello is Drawn to the Light from Merlin's Cave, Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, Grasse 1732–1806 Paris), Brush and brown wash over black chalk

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