James Gillray

Dido in Despair

6 February 1801
Emma, Lady Hamilton, as the mythical Dido, Queen of Carthage, laments the departure of her Aeneas, Lord Nelson. Asleep in bed behind her is Sir William Hamilton, her husband. Strewn about the bedroom are bits of ancient statuary, Sir William's antiquary interests ¿ the truncated priapic statuette is a not so oblique reference to his cuckolding. The print was issued soon after the birth of Horatia, the daughter of Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson. The book "Studies of Academic Attitudes taken from the Life" is comprised of the drawings made of Lady Hamilton's famous tableau-vivant reenactments (or "attitudes") of paintings and statues.
Title
Dido in Despair
Date
6 February 1801
Medium
Print
Materials
etching with watercolour on wove paper
Dimensions
26.2 x 37.5 cm; plate: 25.2 x 35.8 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1994
Accession number
37623