Aesop (c. 620-564 B.C.E.) was the ancient Greek storyteller known for his clever fables featuring animals that teach morals and lessons of human life and behavior. Velázquez ‘s full-length portrait, painted around 1638, depicts Aesop as a humble yet dignified man holding a book, indicating his vocation as a writer. According to ancient accounts, Aesop was a strikingly homely slave who won his freedom and went on to become an advisor to kings. He is most famous as the author or collector of the stories that bear his name. In the offered painting, Aesop’s Greek name “AESOPUS” appears in all capitals on the wall in the upper right, just as it does in Velázquez’s original painting.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Pressed card backing a bit brittle overall but stable.
“Aesop.” Wikipedia. 5 April 2015. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesop (5 April 2015).
“Inventory Number P01206.” Museo Nacional del Prado. 2015. https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/online-gallery/on-line-gallery/obra/aesop/ (5 April 2015).