The original picture by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) is in the Collection of the National Gallery, London. The subject was originally inspired by Virgil's epic Latin poem, The Aeneid which tells the story of the building of the North African city of Carthage. Dido is the female figure on the right in the blue dress, and across the bank stands the tomb of her dead husband Sichaeus.
Burley-on-the-Hill was begun in 1696 for the 2nd Earl of Nottingham, and is one of the great masterpieces of English Baroque architecture. It has commanding views over Rutland water and a magnificent forecourt modelled on the piazza of St. Peter's. In 1908 the house was severly damaged by fire, an event witnessed by Winston Churchill who was a guest at the time and who later wrote, 'from the centre of the house a volcano roared skyward in a whirlwind of sparks.'.