Rinaldo Abandoning Armida

Accession Number

Rinaldo Abandoning Armida

Lorenzo Tiepolo

Object Creation Date
circa 1751-1753

Medium & Support
etching on medium, textured dark cream laid paper

14 13/16 in. x 20 9/16 in. ( 37.6 cm x 52.2 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
In his canvases and frescoes the great 18th-century Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo often depicted scenes from the famous epic by Tarquinto Tasso, "Jerusalem Delivered," all the rage in Europe in his day. His sons Giovanni Domenico and Lorenzo reproduced these in etching. This print was executed by Lorenzo after a painting by his father of ca. 1751-53 for the Würzburg Residenz, and now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich. The moment depicted is the abandoning by the hero Rinaldo of the pagan sorceress Armida, with whom the young captive Cursader had fallen in love on her enchanted isle. The psychological turmoil of both protagonists is conveyed by their body languages and facial expressions, which mix regret with desire. The same subject was also depicted in a print by Lorenzo's brother Giovanni Domenico after his father's fresco at the Villa Valmarana in Vicenza.
This print exhibits Lorenzo's characteristically sharp tonal contrasts which he created by massing his lines to create strong areas of dark beside lighter areas. In making this print he placed the etching lines so close together that the acid overbit them in some areas, leaving areas that would no longer hold ink such as on the costume of Rinaldo's companion who leads him away and along the left edge of the plate. Lorenzo's use of the etching needle to make rough, parallel lines probably reflects his work in the pastel medium.
This print is no. 31 from the catalogue of etchings by the three Tiepolos first published in 1775 by Giovanni Domenico. It is the second state of two. According to James Bergquist (oral communication) our impression is better than the benchmark impression in the British Museum.

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