Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash and yellow gouache heightened with traces of white, over black chalk, with stylus (banister), framing lines in brown ink
Support: Gray-green laid paper, laid down on cream(3) laid paper
Sheet: 27.7 x 42.6 cm (10 7/8 x 16 3/4 in.)
L. E. Holden Fund 1960.26
This drawing was once owned by the painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). Other sketches for Aeneas, Anchises, and Creusa can be seen in the right margin.
In book two of Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid (29-19 BC), the Trojan hero Aeneas escapes from the burning city of Troy and its Greek invaders with his family. Here the artist shows them making their way through a lavish, classical corridor. Aeneas carries his elderly father, Anchises, entrusted with holding their household gods. Both acts stress the theme of domestic virtue. Aeneas's son Ascanius and his wife Creusa follow at either side, although Creusa's separation from the group alludes to her fate; she will not survive their flight.
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