Gaetano Cittadini
Bologna 1713 (?) – 1770)

Erminia and the Shepherds

Oil on canvas, 126 x 172 cm (50 x 172 inches)

On a plaque placed on the side of the ruined tower on the left: «1729 / G. C.»

Erminia has just escaped to Tancredi. Dejected (from her unrequited love) and out of breath, she reaches an opening in the woods when, all of a sudden:

Her lamentations [are]
Broken by the clear sound reaching her,
Which seems to and is from mixed pastoral accents
And springs from uncultured woodsmen.
She rises, and moves slowly forward
And sees a white-haired man in the pleasant shade
Weaving baskets beside his herd
And listening to the singing of three young people,”
writes Tarquinio Tasso (1581, VII, 6).

There is a blinding light in the sky behind him. Not surprisingly, in his short Life, Luigi Crespi recalled how [Gaetano] “painted places commendably in both large and small pictures, also painting the details so well and with paint so shiny that it looks as if the sun is beating down on them». (Crespi, l., Felsina pittrice, 1769 Rome., III, p. 128).