(b. 1827, Basel, d. 1901, Firenze)

Roger and Angelica

Tempera on panel, 44 x 36 cm
Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Angelica is the daughter of a king of Cathay in Orlando Furioso, by the Italian poet Ariosto (1474-1533), a romantic epic poem about the conflict between Christians and Saracens at the time of Charlemagne. Angelica was loved by several knights, Christian and pagan, among them the Christian hero Orlando (Roland). He was maddened (furioso) with grief and jealousy because she became the lover of, and eventually married, the Moor Modero. Roger (Ruggiero) freeing Angelica is a theme very like Perseus and Andromeda. Angelica chained to a rock by the seashore is about to be attacked by a sea-monster, the orc. Roger, one of the pagan champions, arrives riding on a hippogriff (a monster, the creation of the poets of the late middle ages). He dazzles the monster with his magic shield, and places a magic ring on Angelica's finger to protect her. He undoes her bonds and they ride off together.

Böcklin's painting is a romantic rendering of the Renaissance tale.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.