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The Donkey Laden with Food, from Emblematic Figures of Animals

A work made of engraving on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1633

Artist:

Adrian van de Venne (Dutch, 1589-1662)
after Marcus Gheeraerts the Elder (Flemish, c. 1520-1590)

About this artwork

Prints of animals could be accurate and fanciful simultaneously. This finely engraved yet slightly caricatured scene from Aesop’s Fables depicts a donkey laden with fine food and wine who nonetheless happily gnaws at a prickly thistle instead. Moral interpretations of the text have ranged from “One man’s meat is another man’s poison” to a critique of stinginess. Though unsigned, this humorous image of feast and famine set off a chain of copies, ironically ending with a dozen Aesop roundels that decorated the back of trenchers, wooden plates used for the final fruit and nut course in England.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne

Title

The Donkey Laden with Food, from Emblematic Figures of Animals

Origin

Flanders

Date

1628–1638

Medium

Engraving on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

273 × 205 mm (plate); 274 × 207 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial Endowment

Reference Number

1944.583

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/51392/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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