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

Mercury Appearing to Aeneas (detail)

Villa Valmarana ai Nani, Vicenza

Mercury, sent by Zeus, appears to the sleeping Aeneas in a dream and reminds him of his orders to establish a city in Italy. Aeneas consequently abandons Dido. The fresco shows the hero asleep on a rock in front of an unidentified landscape, while Mercury floats on a cloud above him. His hand points out of the picture, and so indicates the imminent departure of Aeneas from Carthage.