The J. Paul Getty Museum

Rinaldo and the Mirror-Shield

Object Details


Rinaldo and the Mirror-Shield


Francesco Maffei (Italian (Venetian), about 1605 - 1660)




about 1650–1655


Oil on copper

Object Number:



29.8 × 34 cm (11 3/4 × 13 3/8 in.)

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Object Description

In Torquato Tasso's 1581 epic poem Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered), the legendary medieval knight Rinaldo is bewitched by the beautiful sorceress Armida and lulled into a life of easy sensuality on the Fortunate Isles. His friends, the knights Carlo and Ubaldo, enter her garden and break her spell by showing Rinaldo a magic mirror-shield. His military spirit reawakened, Rinaldo later rejoins his companions in the enchanted forest.

Some seventy years after the famous book was written, the Baroque artist Francesco Maffei applied his expressive brushwork and rich color to enhance the drama of Tasso's Renaissance epic.

by 1797 - before 1830

Possibly Pesaro Collection (Palazzo di San Stae, Venice, Italy), sold in London, before 1830.
Source: Pietro Edwards's 1797 inventory of the Pesaro collection in the Palazzo di San Stae, nos. 52-53 (see Rossi 1991, p. 93, nos. 33-34).

- 1985

Private Collection (England), sold to Somerville and Simpson, Ltd., 1985.


Somerville and Simpson, Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1985.


Fiocco, Giuseppe. Palazzo Pesaro (Venice: Comune di Venezia, 1925), app.1, no. 52 (possibly Getty painting).

Fisher, M. Roy. "Francesco Maffei: Newly Discovered Scenes from Tasso's 'Jerusalem Delivered.'" The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), pp. 143-48, fig. 1.

"Acquisitions/1985." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 14 (1986), p. 213, no. 114, ill.

Rossi, Paola. Francesco Maffei (Milan: Berenice, 1991), pp. 93, 329, no. 33, fig. 283.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 78, ill.

Careri, Giovanni. Gestes d'amour et de guerre: La Jérusalem délivrée, images et affects (XVIe-XVIIIe siècle) (Paris: Éditions de l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales, 2005), p. 189, fig. 41.

Pavanello, Giuseppe, ed. Gli inventari di Pietro Edwards nella biblioteca del seminario patriarcale di Venezia (Verona: Cierre Edizioni, 2006), p. 108, no. 52 (possibly Getty painting).

Currie, Elizabeth. Fashion and Masculinity in Renaissance Florence (London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), p. 126, fig. 6.8.