Inventory number
Botticelli, Sandro
The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti (I)
Ca. 1483
Mixed Media
83 cm x 138 cm
On display
Pucci collection (Florencia), 1868; Alexander Barker collection, 1868-1879; I. R. Leyland collection, 1879-1892; G. Aynard, 1892; Spiridon collection (Berlin), 1893-1929; Francisco de Asís Cambó collection, 1929-1941. Donation by Francisco de Asís Cambó Batlle, 1941

These panels (P02838, P02839, P02840), along with a fourth one in a private collection, illustrate the “Story of Nastagio degl Onesti”, the eighth novel of the fifth day of Boccaccio's Decameron. This is the story of Nastagio, a young man from Ravenna who was rejected by the daughter of Paolo Traversari and abandoned the city to settle on its outskirts.

This first panel shows Nastagio taking leave of his friends to enter a pine forest, where he sees a woman being attacked by mastiffs and pursued by a man on horseback. That man, Guido degli Anastagi, tells him that he, too, loved a young woman who didn't care for him. Her rejection led him to suicide, but the young woman was unmoved by his death. When she, in turn, died, she was condemned to hell for her indifference. There, they were punished with this persecution, which was to be repeated every Friday for a number of years equal to the number of months the young woman had ignored him. Each time Guido caught the young woman, he was to rip out her heart and throw it to his dogs.

These paintings were commissioned in 1483 by Antonio Pucci for the marriage of his son, Giannozzo, with Lucrezia Bini. The coats of arms of both families flank those of the Medici on the third panel. Specialists see Botticelli's hand in the overall design and in certain figures. They also detect the participation of his assistants, Bartolomeo di Giovanni and Jacopo del Sellaio.

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