BILIVERT, Giovanni
(b. 1585, Firenze, d. 1644, Firenze)

Angelica Hides from Ruggiero

1623-24
Oil on canvas, 116 x 150 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

In this episode from Torquato Tasso's epic Jerusalem Delivered, the hero Ruggiero, impelled by lust for the fair Angelica, is frantically stripping. The winged horse departs, the symbol of virtue's flight when passion overwhelms reason. This painting is from a vast cycle on virtues to be pursued and vices to be avoided commissioned by Cardinal Carlo de' Medici.