Friday, January 23, 2009

Armida and Rinaldo

I bought this painting, The Death of Armida, several years ago. I first saw this painting on display in a bakery that featured a different local artist each month. It was done by Melinda Copper. She and her husband are extraordinary artists, who are adept at a variety of arts including sculpture and painting. One of her dog portraits was so precise it could have passed for a photo.

Melinda had a selection of her animal paintings on display that month, which consisted of beautifully rendered reproductions of famous works of art. For example there was a lovely copy of the Mona Lisa featuring a cat. I knew I had to have one of her pieces(I just had to!!) and it took me a few days to make up my mind. I finally chose this painting because (in no particular order)

a) I used to have pet rabbits;
b) The colors are so beautiful; and
c) The subject matter was intriguing.

I didn't really know anything about the story of Armida and Rinaldo, so I dreamed one up of my own. Obviously (obvious to me, anyway) the soldier in red has come to tell Armida that her love-bunny has died in battle (proof being the armor dropped on the ground). Overcome with grief,she wants to die too, as evidenced by the arrow she holds to her chest. As she is about to plunge the arrow into her heart the soldier bunny stays her paw. I suspect he has motives of his own and is hoping to become her new love-bunny. That's my version, anyway.

Wanting to know the real story about Armida, I took it upon myself to do some research. On the internet of course, because that's where you can find anything, right? Maybe even the truth. Hah! Following is a brief description of some of what I have gathered:

Armida is a beautiful enchantress in "Jerusalem Delivered" (one of those epic poems from the 1500's about the crusades). She intends to kill Rinaldo (a great crusader) but falls in love with him and bewitches him instead. When her spell is broken by his buddies (they bring him a mirror of diamonds, wherein he sees the truth), he either

a) goes back to crusading,leaving her heartbroken and suicidal; or
b) overpowers her with his love and persuades her to become a Christian.

There are other variations from opera and depending on who is interpreting. Whatever the story and it's outcome, this painting is enthralling and I adore it!

If you are interested in seeing more of Melinda's outstanding artwork take a look here: www.melindacopper.net. Enjoy!

6 comments:

LUCKY said...

Thats right! What was ther names?

Significant Snail said...

My rabbits were white with black fur around there eyes...they looked Egyptian so they were named Anthony and Cleopatra.

No Cool Story said...

"The soldier bunny stays her paw..." This part is so awesome I can't even tell you.

Significant Snail said...

NCS: thanks..glad you enjoyed this!

No Cool Story said...

;) Yep, pretty awesome.

Oh and I forgot ot tell you that you can borrow that cute little tiny frog I stole.

Significant Snail said...

NCS: Thanks for the frog...you'll be seeing it here soon!