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The Death of Dido, c. 1630-35

Giovanni Francesco Romanelli

Italian, 1610-1662
Gouache and black chalk on paper, laid down on linen
109 x 166 in. (276.9 x 421.6 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on view

Dido, in her frenzied grief, has built a pyre upon which to burn Aeneas' belongings as well as the bed that they shared. When she sees the Trojan ships sailing away, she flings herself on the bed and stabs herself with Aeneas' sword. Here, Anna climbs up to her dying sister while the goddess Iris, sent by Juno, cuts a lock of the Queen's hair to release her soul and allow her to die. In the background, Aeneas' fleet vanishes in the distance.

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