Aesop Composing His Fables

Image credit: Salford Museum & Art Gallery

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A fable is a very brief story designed to teach some lesson or moral using animals, birds or insects. Aesop was the best known teller of fables in Ancient Greece and many of his stories are familiar. He is thought to have lived around 600 BC and to have been a freed slave from Thrace. Many of his fables were re-written by the poet Babrius in the first century AD and the fables we read today are based on Barbrius's work. Here Landseer refers to the fable of 'The Fox and the Stork'. In this fable, a fox invited a stork to dinner. Wishing to play a practical joke, he provided thin soup in a shallow dish. The fox lapped this up but the stork was helpless. She rose from the table as hungry as she had sat down. She asked him to accept a return of hospitality the next day.

Salford Museum & Art Gallery



Aesop Composing His Fables


oil on canvas


H 100.5 x W 125 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Merton Frankenburg, Esq.

Work type



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