ZUGNO, Francesco
(b. 1709, Venezia, d. 1787, Venezia)

The Sleeping Rinaldo Crowned with Flowers by Armida

1750-80
Oil on canvas, 51 x 120 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The subject was inspired by the 16th-century epic poem 'Gerusalemme Liberata' (Jerusalem Delivered) by Torquato Tasso (1544-1595). Rinaldo and Armida are a pair of lovers in the poem which is an idealized account of the first Crusade which ended with the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 and the establishment of a Christian kingdom.

The painting, formerly entitled 'Sleeping Mars', was designed after Giovanni Battista Tiepolo who painted several versions of the subject. It has a pendant depicting Abraham with the three Angels.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 8 minutes):
George Frideric Handel: Two arias, Rinaldo, Acts II and III