Carlo And Ubaldo Spy On The Lovers

Simon Vouet

French, 1590 - 1649

Manufactory of Raphael de la Planche

French, active 1629 - 1661

Carlo and Ubaldo Spy on the Lovers, ca. 1633-1637

  • On View

Wool and silk (modern cotton lining)

Dimensions: 179 × 197 in. (454.7 × 500.4 cm)

Gift of Viola E. Bray, 2005.124.5

In this tapestry, the two dauntless companions have gotten past the guards of Armida’s palace and discover in its garden the spellbound Rinaldo, languishing in the arms of the sorceress. No longer dressed in armor, nor bearing a sword, Rinaldo holds up a mirror for Armida as she binds her hair with a string of pearls. Carlo and Ubaldo (hidden in the trees to the left) see that the knight has forgotten entirely the call to arms. Armida’s hand mirror provides a visual clue to his predicament, as its frame is modeled with a pair of sirens whose beautiful upper torsos distract the eye from their true deceitful nature, which is only revealed in their coiling fish tails below.

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