Aeneas' mother Venus, wishing to protect her son from Juno, sent Cupid, disguised as Aeneas' son Ascanius, to cause Dido to fall in love with Aeneas (Virgil, 'Aeneid', Book 1).

The head in profile with a helmet on the extreme right is considered a self portrait.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1657 - 1747
Full title
Dido receiving Aeneas and Cupid disguised as Ascanius
Date made
1710
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
207.2 x 310.2 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1971
Inventory number
NG6397
Location in Gallery