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Aeneas Leaving Dido, c. 1630-35

Giovanni Francesco Romanelli
Italian, 1610-1662
Gouache and black chalk on paper, laid down on linen
109-5/8 x 138-1/2 in. (278.4 x 351.8 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

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.

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