Balaam and the angel or Balaam and the donkey


(Milan 1764 – Florence 1849)

Balaam and the angel or Balaam and the donkey
Pencil, pen and brown ink, grey and ocher tempera, grey watercolours, white lead on grey paper applied on cardboard, 11.2 x 7.8 inch
Signed and dated 1839 Luigi Ademollo

The signature and the style of the drawing made certain the attribution to the proliferous hand of the artist Luigi Ademollo, very active with themes of sacred and profane history between the end of the 18th and the first half of the 19th century, particularly in Tuscany.
The iconography of the work is to be identified with a biblical episode taken from the Book of Numbers (chapter XXII), inserted in one of the five Books of the Old Testament called Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses. The sacred episode is referred to the ancient character of Balaam […]. The illustrated scene by Ademollo describes the trip by Balaam riding a donkey, which presence-together with the one of the angel-make clear the figurative interpretation and the connection with the episode.

Excerpt of the expertise by Doc. Egle Radogna.


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