ROBUSTI, Domenico
(b. 1560, Venezia, d. 1635, Venezia)

Tancred Baptizing Clorinda

c. 1585
Oil on canvas, 168 x 115 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This work is regarded as one of the best artistic renderings of the crusader epic Gerusalemme Liberata ("Jerusalem Liberated") by Torquato Tasso (1544-1595). With great fidelity to detail, Domenico shows the Christian knight Tancred (d. 1112 in Antioch) baptizing his mortally wounded opponent at that opponent's own wish, after a nocturnal duel. When Tancred opens the helmet he recognizes the Saracen woman warrior Clorinda, with whom he fell in love when he met her by chance at a shady spring after a battle.