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Caricature of three ecclesiastics
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Caricature of three ecclesiastics

Pier Francesco Mola (1612 - 1666)

Pen and ink, watercolour on paper

Height: 18.8 cm; Width: 26.4 cm;

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt Fund; purchase; 1959

About this work
Pier Francesco Mola’s caricature depicts the comical visit of a scruffy but well-fed

mendicant in a rich residence, adorned with paintings, where he begs a skinny, emptyhanded cardinal for money, whilst a pontiff sits stock still in the background. This figure has been identified as a portrait of the Roman art collector and patron Niccolò Simonelli, who was Mola’s dealer and friend. By including him, the artist apparently satirises the slippery alliances and hierarchies both in church life and in the Roman art world. (Permanent collection label)

This work is not on display
While we make every effort to ensure this information is correct, displays are subject to last-minute changes.

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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