Aeneas Meeting Dido at Carthage

Aeneas Meeting Dido at Carthage

photo: Bruce M. White
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About This Work

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)
Aeneas Meeting Dido at Carthage, 1873–76
22.9 x 30.5 cm. (9 x 12 in.)
Inscribed verso: Affecteux souvenir de Paul Cezanne 1915; and: Don de Mr Bret 1922


Artist’s son, Paul Cézanne (1872–1947), Paris; given as gift, probably to M. Bret, Paris, ca. 1915. Unknown physician, from 1922. [Galerie Baugin, Paris, by 1951]; sold to Henry Pearlman, ca. 1953; Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, 1983.

Critical Perspective

Like the adjoining watercolor, this drawing represents the episode from Book II of Virgil’s Aeneid, in which the Trojan hero Aeneas, shipwrecked off the coast of Carthage, meets its queen, Dido. As Aeneas recounts his misfortunes to Dido, he describes searching for his wife, Creusa, who died in the destruction of Troy, and encountering her ghost. In both works, Cézanne included Creusa as the mysterious shrouded figure standing next to the helmeted Aeneas.