Landscape with Aeneas at Delos

The painting shows Aeneas, a hero of the Trojan War, at Delos, an island sacred to the sun god Apollo, and Diana, his twin. Aeneas (wearing red) is accompanied by his father Anchises (wearing blue) and his son Ascanius. They are met by Anius, king of Delos and priest of Apollo, who points to the olive and the palm to which Latona clung while giving birth to Apollo and Diana. The balcony relief on the building at the top right shows Apollo and Diana killing the giant Tityus, who had tried to rape their mother.

Claude's written sources were Virgil's 'Aeneid' (3), and Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' (13). Claude based the Temple of Apollo on the Pantheon, an ancient temple in Rome.

This is the first of the six works based on Virgil painted by Claude in the last ten years of his life.

Key facts

Artist dates
1604/5? - 1682
Full title
Landscape with Aeneas at Delos
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
99.6 x 134.3 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit
Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876
Inventory number
Location in Gallery