The "Gerusalemme Liberata" Cycle of Paolo Finoglio

Dolin, Daniel

The Neapolitan painter Paolo Finoglio (1590-1645) here depicts two figures from the third canto of Torquato Tasso’s epic poem on the First Crusade, La Gerusalemme liberata (1581): the Norman crusader, Tancred, and Clorinda, the Saracen warrior whom the knight has earlier encountered, by chance, resting by a riverside, only to become deeply enamored of her “beautiful, warlike image” (l’imagine sua bella e guerriera). When the crusaders later arrive at the gates of Jerusalem, the two riders again meet on the battlefield: striking with their lances at the visors of one another’s helmets (ferírsi a le visieri), shattering the wood of their weapons (e i tronchi in alto), the strap of Clorinda’s helmet is eventually severed (rotti i lacci a l’elmo suo) and falls to the ground, revealing her face to Tancred.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Spanish Italy & the Iberian Americas
Published Here
October 12, 2022


Preferred Citation: Dolin, Daniel. “The ‘Gerusalemme Liberata’ Cycle of Paolo Finoglio.” In Michael Cole and Alessandra Russo, eds. Spanish Italy & the Iberian Americas. New York, NY: Columbia University, 2019. []