Thursday, 2 May 2013

Tancred and Erminia

To celebrate its 80th anniversary the Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham is lending 12 of its paintings to The National Gallery in London for the summer (CLICK). The exhibition Birth of a Collection: Masterpieces from the Barber Institute of Fine Arts opens in Room 1 on 22 May. One of the paintings is this beautifully cleaned Tancred and Erminia (c. 1634) by Nicolas Poussin. In case you're wondering what's going on in this picture, Tancred is a Christian warrior lying wounded after having slain the giant Argantes and Erminia is a Saracen princess in love with the Christian knight. She is cutting off her hair to bind his wounds. The putti in the dark sky celebrate his return to health and to Erminia. Aw!


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