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Dido's Banquet, c. 1646

Giovanni Francesco Romanelli
Italian, 1612-1662
Gouache and black chalk on paper, laid down on canvas
110 x 234 in. (279.4 x 594.4 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

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Cupid, at Venus' request, has taken the form of Aeneas' son Ascanius in order to inflame Dido with a mad love for Aeneas. At a banquet held in honor of the Trojans, the Queen "takes fire as she gazes" at the gifts from Aeneas that the disguised god of love presents to her.

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