- Issue date: 16/05/2011
- Printing Process: Huecograbado
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 457,6 x 40,9 mm. (horizontal)
- Size of block sheet: 144 x 115 mm. (horizontal)
- Postal value of the stamps: 2,84 €
- Print run: 280.000 hojas bloque
- Dented: 113 ¼ (horizontal) 13 ¾ (vertical)
- Block print run: 280.000 hojas bloque
The image in the souvenir sheet depicts a fragment of the tapestry from the series "Dido and Aeneas" from the collection of the Palacio Real de Madrid, focusing on the passage in which "Dido bids farewell to Aeneas."
The tapestry is made of silk and wool and manufactured in Brussels around 1660 by Gerard Peemans, one of the best weavers of the time.
The Roman poet Virgil (1st century BC) tells us in The Aeneid of the tragic love story of “Dido and Aeneas". A story of love and abandonment. The myth narrated by Virgil tells of how the Trojans are received by the Carthaginian queen Dido when they arrive at Cartago and Dido meets Trojan prince and hero Aeneas.
Venus makes a pact with Juno by which Dido and Aeneas marry and reign in Cartago. Goddess Juno organizes a hunt during which a storm breaks out and the couple take refuge in a cave where the lover’s passion breaks out. However, the gods have other plans for Aeneas and they send their messenger Mercury to tell him he must leave on a mission to found the new city of Rome. Following the departure of Aeneas from Cartago, Dido falls into deep despair and commits suicide. From that moment on there arises an everlasting hatred between Rome and Cartago.
The tapestry featuring in the stamp and souvenir sheet shows Dido bidding farewell to Aeneas. The Queen of Cartago is at the centre of the picture sitting on her throne surrounded by women and people from her court. Dido bids farewell to Aeneas with her right hand whilst his impressive figure dressed in warrior clothes stands to the left of the composition. To the right, providing perspective to the picture there’s a garden adorned with a statue and other classical elements. The tapestry, made in the 17th century, is surrounded on its edges by a frieze decorated with fruit, floral and vegetable elements, as well as genies carrying garlands.