Armida abducts Rinaldo

Workshop of Raphaël de La Planche, Paris, faubourg Saint‑Germain, Armida abducts Rinaldo, after 1633, from the Story of Rinaldo and Armida, wool and silk, 305 × 432 cm, collection Fondation Étrillard


Palazzo Vendramin Grimani, 2022

  • Subject: from Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso, an epic poem recounting the romanticised history of the first crusade (1095-1099), the first complete edition of which dates from 1581. Canto XIV, 68.
  • Model: Simon Vouet, in 1631.
  • Place of weaving: Paris, Faubourg Saint-Germain, workshop of Raphaël de La Planche, woven after 1633, wool and silk, 305 x 432 cm

Having killed another crusader during a dispute, the Christian knight Rinaldo flees from his camp. On his way, he meets some knights who have been spellbound by the perfidious magician Armida, a Muslim princess, and have followed her. She had arrived shortly before, under the pretext of asking for help, to meet Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the crusader army on its way to conquer Jerusalem. But these crusaders had become her slaves. Rinaldo decides to kill their escort and so frees them, thus incurring the wrath of Armida. Wishing to take revenge on the hero, she enchants him with a speech that puts him into a deep sleep. But just as she is about to stab Rinaldo, she falls in love with him. This is followed by the passage illustrated here: Armida ties Rinaldo with woody vines and takes him, asleep, to her chariot nearby with the help of an assistant, in order to take him to an enchanted island. The border of the tapestry consists of leafy scrolls on a blue background, interrupted at the upper corners by a Victory and at the lower corners by playing putti. This series was very successful in the time of Louis XIII: it was woven in at least four workshops: the workshops of the Louvre, those of the Faubourg Saint-Marcel and its branch in Amiens, and that of the Faubourg Saint-Germain.