Rinaldo and Armida
(Bologna 1577 - 1668)
In all likelihood the work – whose subject is one of the most famous love themes of Torquato Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered (1581) – is the one that Cardinal Alessandro d'Este (1568-1624) bequeathed to Scipione Borghese in 1624.
In the painting the knight Rinaldo, who has been seduced by the sorceress Armida, is asleep in the enchanted chariot driven by the woman. She is pointing to the helmet with, in plain sight, the eagle symbolizing the Este family. Hanging on the right is the mirror, thanks to which – after seeing his reflection in it – Rinaldo will put an end to the spell.