BACKER, Jacob Adriaensz.
(b. 1608, Harlingen, d. 1651, Amsterdam)

Granida and Daifilo

c. 1635
Oil on canvas, 125 x 162 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Granida and Daifilo were lovers from the Dutch pastoral play Granida (1605) by Pieter Hooft. Granida, the daughter of an eastern king, betrothed to Prince Tisiphernes, lost her way while out hunting. She came upon a shepherd Daifilo and his mistress Dorilea who had just quarrelled. Daifilo fetched water for the princess to drink and fell in love with her. He followed her to court and, after several turns in the story, they fled to the woods together to live a pastoral life. Daifilo was taken prisoner by one of Granida's several suitors. They were finally reunited after the intervention of Tisiphernes who yielded his claim to her. The play set a fashion for pastoral idyll in the Netherlands and long remained popular.