After enduring an epic voyage, Aeneas was shipwrecked near Carthage on the coast of North Africa, where Queen Dido received him. Although the two fell in love, Aeneas could not remain with the queen. Jean-Michel Moreau le jeune illustrated the moment after Aeneas announced that he must continue on his journey. Lashing out in rage, Dido hurls abuse at him.
Moreau le jeune made this drawing as a highly finished model for an engraving by Jean-Batiste Simonet for the frontispiece of the second volume of a French translation of Virgil's Aeneid, published in Paris in 1804.