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The suicide of Dido: Dido seated on a pyre surrounded by distressed servants. Etching by G.C. Testa after P. Testa.

Testa, Pietro, 1611-1650.
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view The suicide of Dido: Dido seated on a pyre surrounded by distressed servants. Etching by G.C. Testa after P. Testa.

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Credit: The suicide of Dido: Dido seated on a pyre surrounded by distressed servants. Etching by G.C. Testa after P. Testa. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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About this work

Description

Dido, legendary daughter of a king of Tyre. Her husband was murdered by her brother Pygmalion, now King of Tyre, and Dido escaped to Libya, where she founded Carthage. The shipwrecked Aeneas is brought to Dido by Venus and Dido falls in love with him. After a while Aeneas departs, warned by Mercurius to leave Carthage: Dido sits on a pyre, built as though for an offering, and kills herself with the sword of Aeneas. Iris descends at the behest of Juno to pluck a hair from Dido's head and thus end her life

Publication/Creation

Romae [Rome] (alla Pace) : Gio. Jacomo Rossi formis.

Physical description

1 print : etching, with engraving ; image 30.7 x 46 cm

Lettering

Extinctam famulae, crudeli funere, Dido Te flebant, tenuem vellens Proserpina crinem. Te confodit Amor telo, te perculit ense, Infelix sentis duplex in pectore vulnus. Te quoque flamma vorat dublex, qui corda Cupido Usserat, ipse pyrae suprema incendia miscet. Petrus Testa inventor et pinxit. Gio: Cesar Testa incid

Edition

[State with lettering]

Publications note

Not in Adam Bartsch, Le peintre graveur, vol. 20

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 42983i

Lettering note

The lettering identifies the woman plucking the hair as Proserpina rather than Iris. However, in the Aeneid, Iris ("Iris croceis per caelum roscida pennis") is sent down by Juno before Proserpine can reach Dido and commit her to the underworld (Aeneid IV, 693-705)

Creator/production credits

A picture of a suicide by an artist (Pietro Testa) who killed himself

Type/Technique

Languages

  • Latin
  • Italian



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