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Johann Michael Wittmer (1802-80)

Aesop Signed and dated 1855

RCIN 406331

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Aesop sits on a rock in a sunlit glade, recounting his fables to a gathered crowd. Many wild and domesticated animals allude to the subjects of the stories, although Wittmer has deliberately chosen to represent the creator rather than his creation. Aesop, according to tradition a slave born with physical disabilities, was purchased in the marketplace by Xanthos, shown here as the well-dressed elderly man holding a scroll. Aesop eventually won his freedom - the red Phrygian cap worn by the man leaning on a spear is a symbol of liberty and republicanism.

Cat. 134