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The Miracle of the Ass: PD.7-1984

An image of Drawing

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Miracle of the Ass


Draughtsman: Rolli, Giuseppe Maria




History note: Christie's sale, 3 April 1984, lot 29

Legal notes

From the Biffen Fund.

Measurements and weight

Height: 268 mm
Width: 196 mm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1984-04-03) by Christie's


The miracle of the ass was a popular subject in late 17th and 18th century Italy. To prove the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist St Anthony of Padua showed the host to an ass, unfed for 3 days. The animal knelt down and adored the Lord, disregarding the food that is being offered to it. The shape of the drawing suggests it was intended for a shaped canvas, probably as one of a series of paintings telling the Life of St Anthony, like the series designed by Luca Giordano between 1698 and 1702 for the church of San Antonio de los Portoguesas [now de los Alemanes], Madrid.

School or Style

Bolognese School

Materials used in production

Brown ink
Brown wash
Black chalk

Components of the work

Support composed of paper

Techniques used in production

Drawing : Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk, on paper

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Giuseppe Roli
  • Location: Verso
  • Method of creation: Graphite

Identification numbers

Accession number: PD.7-1984
Primary reference Number: 32977
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 16 July 2021 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Miracle of the Ass" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-14 05:13:08

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Miracle of the Ass |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-14 05:13:08|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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