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FRENCH SCHOOL. 0000000000 N. POUSSIN. ocoooo HERMITAGE GALLERY.
RINALDO AND ARMIDA.
This is one of those subjects which Poussin delighted in repeating, varying the composition and arrangement of his figures. Already in n° 70, we have spoken of that scene of anger and love of the enchantress Armida, and we shall not now repeat what we then thought necessary to say, to explain the situation of the personages. In the first picture, Poussin represents Armida with a dagger in her hand, determined to destroy Rinaldo: here, she yields to the power of Love; all remembrance of revenge is forgotten; affection takes the place of hatred. On the right, in the fore-ground, is a figure, which indicates the river Orontes : in the back-ground, on the same side, the column upon which is the delusive inscription that induced Rinaldo to land in Armida's Island.
The colouring of this picture is very brilliant, and the expression most remarkable. The figure of Rinaldo readily explains the sudden change of Armida's sentiments : she contemplates with delight his graceful countenance, seemingly flushed by a pleasing dream; his flowing locks, no longer confined under a helmet; and his fine limbs, rendered still more pleasing by the forgetfulness of sleep. Some persons have found fault with the figure of Armida, which, according to them, ought to be more airy, to answer Tasso's description.
This picture now forms part of the Hermitage Gallery, at St. Petersburg.
Width, 4 feet 9 į inches; height, 3 feet 3 inches.