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Rinaldo and Armida in the Enchanted Garden
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Rinaldo and Armida in the Enchanted Garden

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description In 1581, the Italian poet Tarquinato Tasso published Gerusaleme Liberata (Jerusalem Liberated), an instantly popular epic poem based on one of the crusades by Christians to retake the Holy Land. It was written as a romantic fantasy, recounting Satan's efforts to create obstacles for the heroic Christian knights, particularly the noble Rinaldo. The beautiful sorceress Armida enticed Rinaldo to enter the lush garden of her castle. There she keeps him besotted with sensual pleasures. He holds her "crystal mirror" up to her face but declares that her worth and beauty are more perfectly "painted in my heart." The episode is treated by Soens as a tender moment, but in the poem it is clear that Rinaldo, "drunk with ease," has lost his moral compass. His comrades burst in and show him a "pure and precious" polished shield in which he sees his "wanton habits." Ashamed, he abandons Armida to return to the battle. Soens worked in Antwerp and Rome before becoming court painter to the Farnese grand dukes in Parma, where Tasso's poem was published.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
1/01/1900Examinationexamined for condition
8/01/1939Treatmentcoated; other
12/10/1942Treatmentcoated; cleaned; loss compensation
12/19/1942Treatmentcoated; inpainted; lined; loss compensation; stabilized; varnish removed or reduced
11/24/1961Treatmentstabilized; loss compensation
1/15/1962Treatmentcleaned; loss compensation; coated
5/08/1973Examinationexamined for condition
11/01/1976Examinationexamined for catalogue
9/26/1984Treatmentloss compensation; coated; other
1/08/1993Examinationexamined for condition
1/29/1993Technical Reportexamined for technical study
  • Salute to Belgium. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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ca. 1581-1611 (Late Renaissance)
oil on panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
18 1/4 x 14 1/8 in. (46.3 x 35.9 cm)
  • Italy, Parma (Place of Origin)
  • Belgium, Antwerp (Place of Origin)
  • Italy, Rome (Place of Origin)

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