Jerusalem Delivered


La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem delivered) is a verse epic by the late-Renaissance Italian poet Torquato Tasso (1544–95). Written in the eight-line stanzas common to Italian Renaissance poetry, Tasso’s masterpiece is known for the beauty of its language, profound expressions of emotion, and concern for historical accuracy. The subject of the poem is the First Crusade of 1096–99 and the quest by the Frankish knight Godfrey of Bouillon to liberate the sepulcher of Jesus Christ. Tasso was born in Sorrento, in the Kingdom of Naples, and his interest in the Crusades probably was kindled by the sacking of Sorrento in 1558 by the Turkish Ottomans and the ongoing struggle between Muslim and Christian powers for control of the Mediterranean. He completed the work in 1575 but spent several years revising the text before it was published in 1581. Tasso’s reputation as a poet and man of genius was well established in 17th-century Italy and throughout Europe by the 18th century. This monumental, two-volume edition of his most important work was completed in 1745 by the Venetian publisher and journalist Giovanni Battista Albrizzi (1698–1777), a member of a family active in the Venice book trade for some 150 years. The illustrations are by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (also called Giambatista Piazzetta; 1682–1754), a Venetian-born painter who was the first president of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. The frontispiece is printed in red and black with a copperplate engraving of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria (1717–80), to whom the work is dedicated.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Giambatista Albrizzi, Venice, Italy


Title in Original Language

La Gerusalemme liberata di Torquato Tasso con le figure di Giambatista Piazzetta

Type of Item

Physical Description

295 leaves : engraved plates, portraits, and illustrations


  • Shelfmark: D.120.15

Last updated: February 4, 2013