95.5 x 75 cm; oil on canvas (FC 549)

The great artist of the Ferrarese Renaissance painted this extraordinary portrayal of Virgil’s famed heroine in exotic terms with a powerful and unusual expression, evoking then poetry of Ludovico Ariosto. Dated around 1519, it stands out for its bright palette and the characteristic alternation between areas of well-defined detail and more freely-executed handling. The shape, described in 1682 as “in ovato” (oval), was later reshaped into a rectangle, and a fictive niche was added by the Roman painter Benefial in 1719 (thus was removed before 1982). On the occasion of an exhibition held in Ferrara, New York, and Los Angeles (1998-1999), repainted areas were removed, and X-ray examination revealed the presence of another head and various elements under the picture surface, reflecting Dosso’s typical “ripensamenti” (revisions).