These two ovals depict scenes from Gerusalemme Liberata, Tasso's epic poem of the first crusade. The first scene depicts a passage from Canto XI, where an angel appears and heals the Christian knight, Tancred, who has been wounded by an arrow. The second scene is taken from Canto XII in which Tancred, not recognizing his armour-clad lover Clorinda fighting for the Saracens, wounds her in combat. The dying Clorinda craves Christian baptism; Tancred fetches water from a stream in his helmet and baptises the kneeling Clorinda.
The compositions of the present lots are based on two prints from a series by Antonio Tempesta illustrating Gerusalemme Liberata (Bartsch, XVII, part 4, nos. 1218-19). The style of the two ovals is comparable to that of a drawing in bodycolour on vellum by Flaminio Allegrini which was sold in these Rooms, 7 July 1992, lot 172.