Beni Culturali Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico per il Polo Museale della città di Roma

Ascanius Killing the Deer of Silvia (Aeneid VII)

Storie dell'Eneide, Ascanio e il cervo di Silvia - Stories from the Aeneid, Ascanius killing the deer of Silvia
Object belonging
One's own
Wood sculpture
Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia
Specific location
Study room, cabinet, shelf 1, section B
PV 07575
Material and technique
Sculpted and carved tilia wood, paint, gilding
Venetian School
Early 16th century
28.7 x 33 x 3.1 cm.
Tower-Wurts Collection (1933)
Image copyright
SSPSAE e per il Polo Museale della città di Roma

Short description

This work, which came from the Wurts collection (inv. W 388), is sculpted in bass-relief with scenes from the ‘History of Troy’, as a handwritten pencil inscription on the reverse reveals. More precisely, several episodes from the Aeneid are illustrated. This relief, which was catalogued as a ‘hunting scene with a deer’, depicts the episode of Ascanius and Silvia’s deer, related in book VII of the Aeneid, v. 475 ff. A young Ascanius is represented here wearing a pileus on his head while chasing after a deer belonging to Silvia, the daughter of Tyrrhus, who looks after the royal herds in Latium. The animal flees to the stable, where it is being nursed, which can be made out in the background; the girl runs, desperately waving her right arm to get the attention of the other shepherds. The injury to the deer is the first incident, initiated by Juno, that will eventually lead to the clash between the Trojans and the Rutuli. The image is not faithful to Virgil’s text where the weapon used by Aeneas’s son is not a sword but an arrow fired from a bow: in Aen. VII 497, it reads Ascanio curuo derexit spicula cornu. The work forms part of a group of four reliefs that are each inside a wooden frame (in this case measuring 34.7 x 39 cm): PV 7573, 7574, 7576. It is difficult to pinpoint the original setting and function of these works, which stylistically seem to belong to early 16th century Venice. Technical-scientific analysis carried out in 2009 by IVALSA-CNR in Florence identified the wood used as tilia (Tilia sp.). 

Grazia Maria Fachechi 



Back to search
Mibac Minerva Europe Museo & Web
Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo
Via del Collegio Romano, 27
00186 Roma, Italia
tel. 39 06 67231

© Tutti i diritti riservati
Polo Museale del Lazio
Piazza San Marco, 49
00186 Roma, Italia
tel. 39 06699941

Museo Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia
Piazza Venezia, 3
Ingresso agli Uffici:
Via del Plebiscito, 13 
Ingresso al Museo:
00186 Roma, Italia
tel. +39-06-69994284 




Copyright 2005 Ministero per I beni e le attività culturali e del turismo

Page created 15/01/2009, last modify 15/11/2010