Rinaldo and Armida in the Enchanted Garden

Walters Art Museum

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Predating the lush garden scenes of Rococo paintings, Jan Soens' Rinaldo and Armida in the Enchanted Garden, was painted during the late Renaissance. His subjects are from a 16th century epic poem. Rinaldo is a part of the Christian crusade to capture Jerusalem from Muslim rule. The sorceress Armida, who gazes at her own reflection, disarms him with her beauty. However, the use of beauty to charm a man was deemed immoral on the part of the woman. Thus Rinaldo's contemporaries, hidden in the distance, have come to free him.

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