Pier Francesco Mola

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Pier Francesco Mola
Man Dictating His Will
Pen and brown ink and wash, over black chalk, on paper.
10 x 15 3/8 inches (254 x 390 mm)
Gift of Janos Scholz.

Watermark: star within a circle, surmounted by a cross (similar to Heawood 3874).
The central figure in this drawing, lying in bed, gesturing to his collections, and presumably dictating his will, is Niccolò Simonelli (1611-1671). A connoisseur and collector, employed by the important Pamphilj and Chigi families in Rome, Simonelli was a supporter of Mola and other artists, although in this and many other caricatures (among them see inv. 1965.8, 1981.98, and 1985.92 at the Morgan), Mola offers comically unflattering portrayals of a man who was also his close friend. The donkey who appears in this scene likewise figures in several other caricatures: in a drawing in a private collection, Simonelli is shown riding the donkey as he returns to the Pamphilj palace, and in 1981.98, Simonelli assists as the donkey is executed by hanging.


Numbered at lower right in pen and brown ink, "38"; on mount below, in graphite, "15".

Possibly from the Odescalchi collection, Rome; Bolognese Caricature Album; Walter Hugelshofer, Zurich; Janos Scholz, New York (see Lugt S. 2933b).
Associated names: 

Hugelshofer, Walter, 1899- former owner.
Scholz, János, former owner.


Scholz, Janos. Italian Master Drawings, 1350-1800, from the János Scholz Collection. New York : Dover, 1976, no. 89, repr.
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twentieth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981-1983. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, p. 278.

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