• Tancred and Erminia

    Artist:
    Poussin, Nicolas. 1594-1665
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    98x147 cm

Poussin, Nicolas. 1594-1665

Tancred and Erminia

France, 1631

In the late 1620s-early 1630s Poussin, the leading exponent of 17th-century French Classicism, created paintings imbued with intense lyricism. The best of his works –"Tancred and Erminia" - illustrates a scene from a great epic poem "Jerusalem Delivered" by the 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso. Poussin depicts Erminia, the daughter of the ruler of Antioch, who rushes to the rescue of the Crusader Knight Tancred, who was wounded in a duel with the giant Argante. Standing near Erminia is Vafrin, Tancred's faithful arms-bearer. To dress the wounds of her loved one, Erminia cuts her hair off with a sword. Her impulsive gesture and the gentle bend of her head reveal the idea of self-sacrifice for the sake of love. Such emotional intensity and painterly softness in the treatment of forms are characteristic of works produced over a very brief period in Poussin's career. Later his work came to be dominated by greater rationality and rigour.

Title:

Tancred and Erminia

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

98x147 cm

Acquisition date:

Acquired by the Hermitage in 1766 from the J.A. Aveda collection in Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1189

Category:

Collection:

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