Armida Gazes on the Sleeping Rinaldo
Illustration of book 14.61–67 in Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered) by Torquato Tasso (Italian, 1544–1595), Parma: 1581
Giuseppe Cades, Italian (active Rome), 1750 - 1799
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Giuseppe Cades absorbed inspiration from various members of the international coterie of artists working in Rome in the 1770s and 1780s to form a style that metamorphosed standard classical subjects into paintings and drawings of distinctive originality. This highly finished work illustrates a scene from Torquato Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered) in which the sorceress Armida, who has seduced and enslaved various heroic crusaders, has vowed to kill their liberator, the Christian knight Rinaldo. In collusion with a mysterious and beautiful nymph whose occupation is to lure youths into an enchanted sleep, Armida approaches Rinaldo, but when she gazes on him and sees how handsome he is, she is stricken with love herself.