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Bernini's Elephant carrying an Obelisk
Private Collection, England / Photograph by John Hammond
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Bernini's Elephant carrying an Obelisk
c.1753-54 (undated)
Black chalk heightened with white on yellow prepared paper
216 x 114 mm
8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in.
Private Collection, England
London 1925 (86B); Exeter 1946 (16 - A Statue in Rome by Bernini)); Rome 1959 (673); Kenwood 1974 (24ii)
William Lock of Norbury; his sale, Sotheby's, London 3-7 May 1821; Marianne Ford; thence by descent
The monument was set up in the Piazza della Minerva, Rome in 1667. The obelisk had been discovered in the gardens of S. Maria sopra Minerva and the ensemble was intended as a glorification of Pope Alexander VII. An inscription on the pedestal (not shown in the drawing) involves complicated puns on the iconography of the elephant and obelisk.
W.S. Heckscher, Art Bulletin, vol. 29, 1947, pp. 155 ff.; Ford 1951, p. 56, pl. 30