The Companions of Rinaldo

Nicolas Poussin French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 623

Poussin illustrates an episode from Torquato Tasso’s heroic crusader poem Jerusalem Delivered (1580), in which the Christian knights Carlo and Ubaldo confront a dragon in their attempt to rescue Rinaldo from a pagan sorceress. The First Crusade took place in the eleventh century, making Poussin’s choice of antique Roman arms and armor anachronistic and evidence that his antiquarian interests could supersede fidelity to his subject. This painting probably belonged to Cassiano dal Pozzo, the antiquary and collector around whom Poussin’s intellectual world was based upon arrival in Rome.

The Companions of Rinaldo, Nicolas Poussin (French, Les Andelys 1594–1665 Rome), Oil on canvas

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