Designed by Domenico Paradisi (active 16911721); Woven at the San Michele manufactory in Rome under the direction of Pietro Ferloni
Wool and silk; 148.8 x 233.9 in. (378 x 594 cm)
Bequest of Mrs. Elizabeth U. Coles, in memory of William F. Coles, 1892 (92.1.15)
Torquato Tasso's immensely popular epic poem Gerusalemme Liberata (Jerusalem Liberated, 1574) related the events of the First Crusade (begun ca. 1095) and provided inspiration for subsequent artists in various media. Between 1689 and 1693, Domenico Paradisi painted a series of imitation tapestries illustrating the story for the apartments of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni (16671740) at the Palazzo della Cancelleria. Later, at the order of the cardinal, these paintings were reproduced as a set of fifteen tapestries, to which this panel belongs. The moment depicted is the Crusaders' first sighting of their sworn goal. With expressive gestures they dismount and fall to their knees as they behold the walls and towns of the Holy City.