Silver dish embossed with Aeneas' escape from Troy, by Gabriel Felling, 1687-95
Aeneas's flight from Troy with his family was a scene of great symbolic meaning with a long literary and artistic tradition. To classical scholars, it represented the origins of Rome, since Aeneas was believed to be the founder of Rome. It also signified the themes of exile, of the Three Ages of Man and of filial love. The scene was chosen by Andrea Alciati to depict filial love in his Emblematum liber (Book of Emblems), published in Augsburg in 1531. Alciati, a lawyer with a fine classical education, was the inventor of the emblem book, in which moral lessons were conveyed through a combination of word and image. In this case, the emblem of filial love was especially suitable for a commemorative gift from a grandfather to a grandson.
You can find out more about the dish in the audio below.