The Wallace Collection

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An Idyll: Daphnis and Chloe
  • Niccolò Pisano (1470 - 1538)
  • An Idyll: Daphnis and Chloe
  • Italy
  • c.1500 - c.1501
  • Painting
  • Oil on poplar panel
  • Image size: 85.9 x 62.2 cm
  • P2
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The pastoral Romance Daphnis and Chloe by the late Greek writer Longus (third or fourth century A. D.) tells of the love of two foundlings from noble families. One of the main incidents in their story, illustrated here, depicts the moment when Daphnis, alone with the sleeping Chloe, notices his former playmate’s beauty and first feels adult passion for her (I, 25). The artist conveys the couple’s youth in their pale slim bodies, and the wonder and longing of the protagonist by the use of restrained but dramatic gesture. A lyrical quality is imparted by the idyllic landscape setting. The picture was previously attributed to Giovanni Battista Bertucci, although he is known only as a painter of religious subjects.