This scene is drawn from Torquato Tasso's great Christian epic poem 'Gerusalemme Liberata' where the crusading hero Tancred has emerged victorious but badly wounded from a duel with the Egyptian commander Argantes outside the walls of Jerusalem.

His armour bearer has brought Tancred's lover Erminia to the scene, and she rushes up to his limp body, distraught. In Guercino's picture, the poignant emotion and drama of an instant is captured and frozen in time. This work was acquired after a public appeal from the National Galleries of Scotland with the help of the Art Fund grant and an additional donation of £24,000 from Sir Denis Mahon, made through the Art Fund.

Provenance

Commissioned by Cardinal Fabrizio Savelli; Carlo II & Isabella Clara, Duke & Archduchess of Mantua; Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga; Vittorio Amadeo di Savoia; Graf Heinrich von Bruhl; Comte de Lauraguais; 5th Earl of Carlisle; by descent at Castle Howard.


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