Dosso Dossi
known as Giovanni Luteri

Dido

95,5 x 75 cm; oil on canvas (FC 549)

The grand painter of the Ferrarese Renaissance painted this extraordinary portrayal of the Virgilian heroine in exotic terms with strong atypical expressive formulas, which lead us to draw parallels with Torquato Tasso’s writings. Dated around 1519, it stands out for its bright palette and the characteristic alternation of areas of well defined detail and others
of a more freely executed order. The shape, already described in 1682 as “in…ovate”, was later made into a rectangular form, and a fake niche was painted in by Benefial in 1719, and then removed prior to 1982. On the occasion of the exhibition held in Ferrara, New York, and Los Angeles (1998/99), repainted areas were removed, and X-ray
examinations revealed the presence of another head and other various elements behind the known painting, typical of how Dosso would frequently change his mind as he worked.

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