• T
  • Giovanni Toscani
Cassone with Scenes from Boccaccio's 'Decameron'

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Cassone with Scenes from Boccaccio's 'Decameron' About 1420 - 1425


The painted panel illustrates a story in three scenes from left to right. One of the main characters, a young man called Ambrogiuolo, appears several times. Bernabo, a merchant from Genoa has boasted of his wife Ginevra's virtue and bets Ambrogiuolo will not succeed in seducing her. Ambrogiuolo bribes an old woman to have him carried into Ginevra's bedroom hidden in a chest. He is then shown looking at Ginevra. He finds a mole under her left breast and will use this information to convince Bernarbo of his mission's success. The rest of the cassone (chest) is a nineteenth-century reconstruction.

Glossary Open


An Italian marriage chest produced in the 14th to 16th centuries. A panel of the chest was frequently decorated with a painting which is known as a 'cassone painting'.



  • Acc. No. NG 1738
  • Medium Pine, gesso, gilt, tempera on panel
  • Size Front painted panel with cusped border: 41.90 x 142.00 cm; Cassone: 82.50 x 195.50 x 68.60 cm
  • Credit Presented by Dr John Warrack 1929