Klorinda baptized by Tankred

Jan de Herdt (c. 1620 – c. 1684) | 1667 | oil on canvas, 156 × 156 cm

After a fierce duel, Tankred mortally wounds his opponent, who is Klorinda, a warrior from the Muslim camp. The Christian knight Tankred pursued her because she caused serious damage to the Christian camp. In the last moment of her life, Tankred learns who his rival in battle was and recognizes in her the woman he is in love with. Clorinda pleads earnestly for baptism, which she receives.

“Friend, thou hast won, I pardon thee, nor save

this body, that all torments can endure,

But save my soul, baptism I dying crave,

Come wash away my sins with waters pure:”

His heart relenting nigh in sunder rave,

With woeful speech of that sweet creature,

So that his rage, his wrath, and anger died,

And on his cheeks salt tears for ruth down slide.


With murmur loud down from the mountain’s side

A little runnel tumbled near the place,

Thither he ran and filled his helmet wide,

And quick returned to do that work of grace, 

With trembling hands her beaver he untied, 

Which done he saw, and seeing, knew her face,

And lost therewith gis speech and moving quite, 

Oh woeful knowledge, ah unhappy sight!