The Fable of the Miller, His Son and the Donkey No. 5

Elihu Vedder American

Not on view

During a visit to Cádiz, Spain in 1860–61, Vedder grew homesick for Italy—where he spent most of his life— and made several sketches in which he imagined Aesop’s classic fable "The Miller, His Son, and the Donkey" set in the characteristic hill towns and scenic countryside of medieval Tuscany. For his final composition, Vedder divided the story into nine scenes. Shown here are studies for eight of them—missing is the penultimate scene, in which the miller and his son head home after the death of the donkey, presumably reflecting on the moral of the story: "Try to please all and you end by pleasing none."

The Fable of the Miller, His Son and the Donkey  No. 5, Elihu Vedder (American, New York 1836–1923 Rome), Graphite on paper, American

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