Rinaldo's Conquest of the Enchanted Forest

Object Details


Rinaldo's Conquest of the Enchanted Forest


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




about 1650 - 1655


Oil on copper


29.8 × 34 cm (11 3/4 × 13 3/8 in.)

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The medieval Christian knight Rinaldo has entered the enchanted forest, where monstrous apparitions have prevented his men from gathering wood to build their war-machines. Earlier, his companions had rescued him from the sorceress Armida's garden, and now they in turn require his assistance. Suddenly, hundreds of tree nymphs appear, surrounding Rinaldo, and the sorceress Armida appears from within a large myrtle tree, begging the knight to renew their love. His sword unsheathed, Rinaldo advances to strike the tree, thus overcoming the enchantment and enabling the Crusaders' liberation of Jerusalem to proceed.

Combining themes of chivalric love with tales of Christian heroism, Torquato Tasso's 1581 epic poem, Gerusalemme Liberata(Jerusalem Delivered), celebrated the First Crusade of 1099 nearly five hundred years after it had taken place. Some seventy years after the famous book was written, the Baroque artist Francesco Maffei applied his energetic brushwork and rich color to enhance the drama of Tasso's Renaissance epic.

by 1797 - before 1830

Pesaro Collection (Palazzo di San Stae, Venice, Italy), sold in London, before 1830.
Source: Pietro Edwards' 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.

1985 - 1985

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


Fiocco, Giuseppe. Palazzo Pesaro (Venice: A cura del Comune di Venezia, 1925), app. 1, no. 53 (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. 2.

"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. 34, fig. 284.

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

Pavanello, Giuseppe, ed. Gli inventari di Pietro Edwards nella biblioteca del seminario patriarcale di Venezia (Verona: Cierre Edizioni, 2006), p. 108, no. 53 (possibly Getty painting).