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Venus directing Aeneas and Achates to Carthage

Angelica Kauffman RA (Chur 1741 – Rome 1807)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

1768 (exhibited at Society of Artists)

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1270 x 1016 mm (50 x 40 in)

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Collection

Saltram, Devon (Accredited Museum)

NT 872178

Caption

Aeneas’s mother, the goddess Venus, disguised as a huntress, with a bow and quiver on her back, has appeared to direct Aeneas and his faithful companion, Achates to the city of Carthage and Queen Dido. The two Trojan warriors have survived a storm, after the Sack of Troy and have arrived on the coast of Africa. The scene is from an episode in the first book of Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid. This painting was exhibited at the Royal Society of Arts in 1768 and at the first Royal Academy exhibition in 1769 by a co-founder of the Royal Academy and friend of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Angelica may have got her inspiration for the subject matter from her artist friend, Nathaniel Dance-Holland, whom she had met in Rome and who painted a related subsequent episode in the story of The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas and Achates now in Tate Britain.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Venus directing Aeneas and Achates to Carthage by Angelica Kauffman RA (Chur 1741 – Rome 1807) A scene from Virgil's Aeneid 1: 350-371, when Aeneas and his faithful companion, Achates, have arrived on the coast, near Carthage after a storm and Venus, his mother, disguised as a huntress, directs them towards the city and Queen Dido. Venus stands in the centre of a landscape, a bow on her back, with the two Trojan warriors at the left.

Provenance

Exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1768 and Royal Academy in 1769; acquired by John Parker, later Lord Boringdon (1734/5 – 1788) and thereafter by descent; accepted by HM Treasury in part payment of death-duties from the executors of Edmund Robert Parker, 4th Earl of Morley (1877-1951) and transferred to the National Trust in 1957

Credit line

Saltram, The Morley Collection (accepted in lieu of tax by HM Treasury, and transferred to The National Trust in 1957)

Makers and roles

Angelica Kauffman RA (Chur 1741 – Rome 1807), artist

References

Saltram, Devon, 1957: [National Trust], 1957, pp.8, 15 Boerner 1979 C.G. Boerner, Angelika Kauffmann (1741-1810) und ihre Zeit: Graphik un Zeichungen von 1760- 1810, Neue Lagerliste 70, Dusseldorf 1979, no.111

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