This decorative canvas is one in a series of four, which alongside larger narrative paintings (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and The Art Institute, Chicago) once graced a ‘cabinet of mirrors’ in the Venetian palace of the powerful Cornaro family. The theme of the room was based on Torquato Tasso’s epic poem 'Jerusalem Delivered' (1581). Three of the paintings in the collection (NG6302, NG6303 and NG6304) are documented through etchings (in reverse) by Domenico and Lorenzo Tiepolo as the work of their father.
This is the only painting in this series of four with an identifiable story. It shows Rinaldo, who has been enchanted by the sorceress Armida, turning away in shame and throwing off his flower wreath on seeing himself reflected in a magic shield and realising his folly (Jerusalem Delivered 16, 30).