Pier Leone Ghezzi

Rachel Hapoienu

Pier Leone Ghezzi (1674–1755), Monument to a Donkey, c.1735. Graphite and grey wash on paper.

This drawing by the Roman artist Ghezzi depicts an unusual funerary monument, commissioned by the Sacchetti family for their beloved donkey called ‘Grillo’ (Cricket). According to the extensive inscription, this clever and loyal animal regularly carried baskets all alone from central Rome to the Sacchetti’s Villa Pigneto, ten kilometres away. The monument was designed by Pietro da Cortona (1596–1669) for the garden of the villa, where it commemorated the donkey’s faithful service.

The exhibition Reading Drawings ran from 21 Jan – 4 June 2017 at the Courtauld Gallery.

Samuel Courtauld Trust: Blunt Bequest, 1984