Feb 5, 2008

The Death of Dido

The Death of Dido


designed by

Giovanni Francesco Romanelli

(Italian, 1610–1662)

woven by

Michael Wauters

(Flemish, 1679)

Tapestry weave: silk and wool

Overall: 414 x 466.5 cm (163 x 183 11/16 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Francis F. Prentiss, in memory of Dr. Dudley P. Allen 1915.79.8

Did you know?

Depicting the tragic love story of Dido and Aeneas, this tapestry is one of eight gifted to the museum for display in the armor court.


Driven by despair, and to her sister's dismay, Dido throws herself onto a pyre of Aeneas's bed and clothes and pierces herself with his sword. Moved by pity, Jupiter's wife, Juno, sends Iris from heaven to cut a lock of Dido's hair and sacrifice it to the underworld so that Dido may die. Aeneas's fleet sails away in the distance.

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