Italian landscape (detail) by Andrea Locatelli

Handel Opera, Il Pastor Fido: [The scene is Arcadia, where for many years the people have been suffering under a terrible burden. Each year they must sacrifice a virgin, to assuage the demands of the Goddess Diana. The Oracle has prophesied that this punishment can only be lifted with the marriage of two ‘of the heavenly race’ one of whom will be ‘a Faithful Shepherd’. Amarilli and Silvio, both of divine descent, have been identified as the couple whose marriage will lift the curse, and their fathers have arranged a betrothal.]