TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1696, Venezia, d. 1770, Madrid)

Aeneas Introducing Cupid Dressed as Ascanius to Dido

Fresco, 230 x 240 cm
Villa Valmarana ai Nani, Vicenza

Queen Dido of Carthage has welcomed Aeneas. By way of thanks, the latter has his son Ascanius brought from the ship with gifts for the hostess. Venus swaps him for Amor underway, which leads to Aeneas and Dido falling in love. The subject matter of the fresco is the presentation of Aeneas' son, but the wings and the quiver of arrows point to the true identity of the god of Love. On the left, Dido, in splendid robes, sits enthroned underneath a kind of baldachin. The scene is furnished with an architectural backdrop typical of Tiepolo.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 9 minutes):
Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Dido's Farewell