ID number: BIRBI-64.5
Institution: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker: Dosso Dossi (1485/90?-1542)
Title / Object name: Scenes from the Aeneid: the Sicilian games
Object type: Painting
Place made: Ferrera
Date made: the 1520s
Materials: Oil on canvas
Measurements: 58.5 x 167.5 cm
Provenance: Castello Estense, Ferrara, Camerino of Alfonso I (until 1608); Cardinal Scipione Borghese, Rome (from 1608); Prince Giovanni Battista Borghese, Rome; Tomás Harris; purchased with its companion by Sir Kenneth Clark around 1932-33; sold to Agnew, 1964; purchased from Agnew in 1964 for £16,000.
Virgil’s Aeneid tells the mythical story of the foundation of Rome by Aeneas. Dosso interpreted the text so freely that the subject remains uncertain. It seems to show Aeneas and his companions on the coast of Libya. To the right, the Trojans have survived the storm and prepare a feast. Behind, Aeneas hunts a stag. In the centre, figures prepare to run a race. The figures in the sky are Mercury and Jupiter.
This is one of ten landscapes that originally formed a frieze around the private study of Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara. It hung above mythological scenes painted by Titian and Giovanni Bellini, forming one of the most important Renaissance interiors.
Notes: Exhibited: 'Dosso Dossi', Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara, Italy, 27 September 1998 - 14 December 1998, no. 24b, pp. 147-53; 'Dosso Dossi', Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA, 11 January 1999 - 28 March 1999; 'Dosso Dossi', J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA, 27 April 1999 - 11 July 1999; 'Titian', National Gallery, London, UK, 19 February 2003 - 18 May 2003