• The Death of Dido

    Artist:
    Bourdon, Sébastien. 1616-1671
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    158,5x139,5 cm

Bourdon, Sébastien. 1616-1671

The Death of Dido

France, 1644

The subject of this painting is borrowed from The Aeneid , an epic poem written by the Roman poet Virgil (IV, 665-705). The Queen Dido, the founder of Carthage, fell in love with the Trojan hero Aeneas. Enchanted by her beauty, Aeneas was prepared to stay with his beloved forever, but compelled by his purpose to found Rome and the Italic Kingdom, he abandoned her. Devastated by Aeneas’ guile, Dido committed suicide, predicting eternal strife between Carthage and Rome. Bourdon depicted the scene of Dido’s committing suicide by stabbing herself upon a pyre. Standing near her are the dumbfounded servants and members of the household, with the white sails of Aeneas’ departing ships seen in the distance. The Parcae, cutting off Dido’s strand of hair, personifies destiny that tears off the thread of human life. Bourdon’s work was under great influence of Nicolas Poussin and embodied Classicism in art. However, this painting with its dynamic composition and emphasized conveying of feelings follows the conventions of the Baroque style. Light brownish and silvery overtones on the clothes and clouds creating an impression of air movement, reveal the artist’s admiration for Venetian painting during this.

Title:

The Death of Dido

Place:

Date:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

158,5x139,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1772; acquired from the collection of L.A. Crozat, Baron de Thiers, in Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1247

Category:

Collection:

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