Brant: Dido Confesses Her Love for Aeneas to Anna

    On the left side of the image, workers build the city of Carthage in the background while in the foreground, Aeneas's ships sit empty in the harbor. On the right, under a portico, Dido stands talking with her sister, Anna, who is unlabelled (9-53). Dido covers her face, perhaps in shame or to wipe away tears (27, 30). Anna points toward Aeneas, the subject of their discussion, who sits on the other side of a window or doorway, unaware of them. (Katy Purington)

    Woodcut illustration from the “Strasbourg Vergil,” edited by Sebastian Brant: Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera cum quinque vulgatis commentariis expolitissimisque figuris atque imaginibus nuper per Sebastianum Brant superadditis (Strasbourg: Johannis Grieninger, 1502), fol. 208r, executed by an anonymous engraver under the direction of Brant.


    Sebastian Brant (1458–1521) was a humanist scholar of many competencies. Trained in classics and law at the University of Basel, Brant later lectured in jurisprudence there and practiced law in his native city of Strasbourg. While his satirical poem Das Narrenschiff won him considerable standing as a writer, his role in the transmission of Virgil to the Renaissance was at least as important. In 1502 he and Strasbourg printer Johannes Grüninger produced a major edition of Virgil’s works, along with Donatus’ Life and the commentaries of Servius, Landino, and Calderini, with more than two hundred woodcut illustrations. (Annabel Patterson)

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