The scene in this painting is taken from Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme Liberata (1581), where the Saracen princess Erminia encounters the shepherd and his sons and they discuss the pleasure of rural pursuits as opposed to war.

She has fled from the crusaders' camp in search of the wounded Tancred with whom she is in love. Pursued by a patrol of the Christian army, she seeks shelter in the remote countryside with the family of the shepherd. During the conversation, the princess is persuaded to discard her armour and follow a bucolic existence.

Provenance

Duke of Mantua; Laborde de Mereville; Miss F Mordaunt; Mrs Macpherson; Phillips Son and Neal.


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