Rinaldo and Armida in the Enchanted Forest
Oil on wood
Inv. No. 2094
58 × 81.7 cm
This scene was inspired by Torquato Tasso’s epic Jerusalem Delivered, about the Crusades: The knight Rinaldo has entered an enchanted forest to break the spell that lies over it so that he can obtain the construction wood needed in preparation for the attack on Jerusalem. The sorceress Armida attempts to stop him, but Rinaldo holds his own. Depictions after Tasso’s epos were not unusual in the Baroque and Rococo; Tiepolo and Boucher, for example, both devoted entire cycles to it. The cool colouration and dancerly elegance of the composition reveal the influence of the Venetian Giambattista Pittoni, with whom Kern studied from 1724 to 1731 before being appointed painter to the court of Dresden.