DOSSI, Dosso
(b. ca. 1490, Ferrara, d. 1542, Ferrara)

Circe (or Melissa)

c. 1520
Oil on canvas, 170 x 172 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

The identification of this mysterious figure with the enchantress from the Odyssey is doubtful. However, this does not diminish the fascination of the luxurious image. The painting is redolent with the colour and luminous atmosphere of Venetian art which here join with the Ferrara school's inexhaustible search for esoteric and literary seduction.