The Death of Dido

by Peter Paul Rubens

After piling a wooden effigy of her deceased husband in their matrimonial bed atop her own funeral , Dido, the queen of , stabs herself with her lover sword. tells the story of her grief-stricken reaction to her abandonment by Aeneas, the hero of the and future founder of Rome. The artist emphasized ferocious passion through the curvaceous twist of her body; he accentuated the scene's gloom through use of somber colors. The burning torch at the upper right provides the only reference to the funeral pyre. Peter Paul Rubens's prolific workshop produced over two thousand works of art. Rubens typically employed accomplished artists to paint in his style from sketches he supplied. The posthumous inventory of his goods lists a painting called the Death of Queen Dido, but scholars are uncertain whether it refers to this particular canvas.

Oil on canvas (about 1640)

by Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640)

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