The Dream of Aenëas, c. 1663-1664

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While the hero of Virgil's epic Aeneid sleeps, exhausted after his trip from Troy to Italy to establish the future city of Rome, the river god Tiber appears to predict his success. Sporting a crown of reeds, Tiber strikes the same kind of impassioned pose as the figure in the MIA's painting Saint Humphrey (about 1660), also by Salvator Rosa. This etching is very much in the tradition of the Roman baroque, with a profusion of diagonals adding energy to the scene. The melodramatic Rosa also worked as an actor and playwright, which may account for the theatrical Gorgon's head on Aeneas's shield.

The Dream of Aenëas
Artist Life
(Naples), 1615–1673
Accession Number
pencil verso: G.J. Morant (L.1823); William M. Ladd
Catalogue Raisonne
Bartsch 23; Rotili 108
Curator Approved

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