Rinaldo Prevents The Suicide Of The Despairing Armida

Simon Vouet

French, 1590 - 1649

Manufactory of Raphael de la Planche

French, active 1629 - 1661

Rinaldo Prevents the Suicide of the Despairing Armida, ca.1633-1637

  • On View

Wool and silk (modern cotton lining)

Dimensions: 176 × 124 in. (447 × 315 cm)

Gift of Viola E. Bray, 2005.124.10

Alone and overcome with grief and loss, a defeated and spurned Armida attempts suicide with an arrow to her chest. In this last tapestry, her fatal action is arrested by Rinaldo, who spied her departure from the battlefield and followed in pursuit. Stirred by compassion, he seeks reconciliation with her and, motivated by this generosity of spirit on his part, Armida converts to Christianity. Just before her death, which comes nevertheless, she gives her crown and wealth to him. This ultimate victory of conversion and redemption is celebrated by Cupid who flies in from above, carrying the palm frond of a Christian martyr.

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