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Venus Healing Aeneas

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


about 1820


Merry Joseph Blondel
French, 1781–1853

About this artwork

In this study for a larger painting of a scene from Virgil’s Aeneid, Merry Joseph Blondel depicted the epic poem’s protagonist, Aeneas, wounded and having dragged himself away from the battlefield. Hidden in a divine mist, the goddess Venus—Aeneas’s mother—and the river god Numicus come to his rescue. Numicus holds the hero as Venus administers a healing balm. The following lines from A. S. Kline’s translation of the poem describe the scene:

This Venus brought, her face veiled in dark mist, This, with its hidden curative powers, she steeped In river water, poured into a glittering basin, and sprinkled There healing ambrosial juice and fragrant panacea.


On View, Gallery 219


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Merry Joseph Blondel


Venus Healing Aeneas

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


27 × 21.5 cm (10 5/8 × 8 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Pamela and Roger Hull through the Old Masters Society

Reference Number


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