Rinaldo and Armida (Primary Title)
The Vélins du Roi was a workshop established in the service of the king of France in the 17th century. It brought together a team of talented artists who specialized in gouache (opaque watercolor) on vellum, and the extremely refined works they produced were usually presented as gifts to members of the court. This gallant scene was inspired by one of the most beloved epic poems of the time, Jerusalem Delivered by 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso. The tale recounts the seduction of Rinaldo, a brave knight, by the beautiful sorceress Armida, who bewitches him and holds him captive. The love between them embodied a chivalrous ideal epitomized by men with effeminate qualities, appealing to the period’s gallant culture of preciosité. In the scene’s background, Rinaldo’s companions have arrived to rescue him by breaking the spell, so he might return to war and a more masculine behavior.
The Jordan and Thomas A. Saunders III Collection
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