Angelica and Medoro

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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Angelica Carving Medoro's Name on a Tree, 1757.

Angelica and Medoro was a popular theme for Romantic painters, composers and writers from the 16th until the 19th century.[1] Angelica and Medoro are two characters from the 16th-century Italian epic Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. Angelica was an Asian princess at the court of Charlemagne who fell in love with the Saracen knight Medoro, and eloped with him to China. While in the original work, Orlando was the main character, many adaptations focused purely or mainly on the love between Angelica and Medoro, with the favourite scenes in paintings being Angelica nursing Medoro, and Angelica carving their names into a tree, a scene which was the theme of at least 25 paintings between 1577 and 1825.[2]

List of artists depicting Angelica and Medoro[edit]


List of authors writing about Angelica and Medoro[edit]

  • Francisco de Aldana (1537–1578), Medoror y Angélica, describing their adventures after the end of the Orlando Furioso
  • Luis Barahona de Soto, Primera parte de la Angélica (1586), also describing the adventures after the ending of the Furioso
  • Lope de Vega, La hermosura de Angélica (1602)
  • Luis de Góngora, En un pastoral albergue, 1602, depicting the honeymoon of Angelica and Medoro
  • José de Cañizares, Angélica y Medoro, 1722

List of composers writing about Angelica and Medoro[edit]

Libretto by Andrea Salvadori[edit]

Libretto by Metastasio[edit]

Libretto by Leopoldo de Villati[edit]

Libretto by Carlo Vedova[edit]

Libretto by Gaetano Sertor[edit]



  1. ^ Waid, Candace (1991). Edith Wharton's letters from the underworld: fictions of women and writing. UNC Press Books. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-8078-4302-4. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Littlejohn, David (1992). The ultimate art: essays around and about opera. University of California Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-520-07608-2. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Julius A. Molinaro, Angelica and Medoro; The Development of a Motif from the Renaissance to the Baroque, 1954
  • Rensselaer W. Lee, Names on trees : Ariosto into art, Princeton University Press, 1977, 124 pages, ISBN 0-691-03914-3.