The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas

Nathaniel Dance-Holland1766

Tate Britain

Tate Britain

This picture shows the meeting of the Trojan prince Aeneas and the Carthaginian queen Dido, from Virgil's epic poem, the Aeneid. Aeneas was shipwrecked near Carthage after the sack of Troy. The goddess Venus made Dido fall in love with him and helped him to hide in her citadel. He watches Dido welcome his fellow Trojans and when she asks to see their 'king' the mist clears and Aeneas reveals his identity. Dance-Holland made this picture while he was in Rome and sent it to London to be exhibited as a way to advertise his imminent return to Britain.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas
  • Creator: Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland
  • Date Created: 1766
  • Provenance: Purchased with assistance from the Art Fund 1993
  • Physical Dimensions: w1718 x h122 mm
  • Original Title: The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas