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Francesco Guardi, Gianantonio Guardi

Tancred Baptizing the Dying Clorinda


Francesco Guardi
Venice 1712 – Venice 1793

Gianantonio Guardi
Vienna 1699 – Venice 1760


Tancred Baptizing the Dying Clorinda


About 1745-1755


Oil on canvas


250 x 77 cm


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, inv. 1987.3


Western Art

Gianantonio Guardi, assisted by his better-known younger brother Francesco, was responsible in the 1750s for many decorations. This work belongs to a series of eight canvases that were undoubtedly intended for a hall in a Venetian palace or villa. The series was executed by both brothers and most specialists assign the Montreal canvas to Francesco. The entire series was derived from Torquato Tasso's famous epic poem Jerusalem Delivered, which recounts adventures of Crusaders in the Holy Land. The subject depicted here is the moment when the Christian knight Tancred recognizes that the dying warrior he is baptizing is in fact his beloved, the Saracen princess Clorinda, who has disguised herself as a soldier in order to defend her people. Other panels from this important series are in museums in Washington, Copenhagen and Venice.

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