frame Spanish or Italian, c.1600

Erminia and the Shepherds, 1648–49

Oil on canvasexpand_more

The William Hood Dunwoody Fundexpand_more  62.12

Guercino excelled at monumental, lushly colored Italian Baroque paintings. An entry in the artist’s account book on January 14, 1649, records a handsome payment from an important Sicilian collector, Antonio Ruffo, for this one.

The scene is from Torquato Tasso’s popular epic poem "Jerusalem Delivered" (1581). The story is set during the First Crusade (1096–99), when Christian warriors laid siege to Jerusalem, then under Muslim rule. Here, the Muslim princess Erminia, disguised in armor, has fled Jerusalem. Escaping to the forest, she comes upon a shepherd and his sons making baskets. They are startled, but she removes her helmet to calm their fears, and they give her shelter.



Guercino, Erminia and the Shepherds (#465)
Erminia and the Shepherds
Artist Life
(Bologna), 1591–1666
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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frame Spanish or Italian, c.1600