Dido Accosts the Departing Aeneas

Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (Italian, 1612-1662)
c. 1646
Gouache and black chalk on paper, laid down on canvas 
109-5/8 x 138-1/2 in. (278.4 x 351.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View

Dido, who has seen Aeneas' men preparing for the voyage, confronts him in sorrow and anguish. Aeneas points rather sheepishly to the ships and explains his divine mission: he leaves not according to his own free will, but at the command of Jupiter, to found the kingdom of Italy. The grisaille relief of Cupid presenting a vase to a woman (in the background) is a cold echo of the magic banquet scene and the gifts that first impassioned Dido.


Mr. Alexander Fordyce, Roehampton, Surrey (Langford, 7 July 1774, lot 59).
Rt. Hon. the Earl of Poulett, Hinton St. George, Somerset, by at least 1828 (Sotheby's, London, 26 March 1969, lot 6).
[Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London].
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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