Pellegrini, Carlo

BORN 25 Mar 1839, Capua, Campania - DIED 22 Jan 1889, London: 53 Mortimer Street
CAUSE OF DEATH lung disease
GRAVE LOCATION London: St Mary's Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (Grave no. 3880)

Carlo Pellegrini was known as the caricaturist Ape, who worked from 1869 to 1889 for Vanity Fair. Ape is Italian for 'bee'.

He came from Capua and his mother descended from the Medici family. He was educated in Italy. In 1864 he left for England, where he befriended the Prince of Wales. His claims that he fought with Garibaldi and slept on the streets after he arrived in London were dismissed by many as fantasies.

It is unclear how he came to work for Vanity Fair magazine, owned by Thomas Bowles (1841-1922), in 1869. His work for the magazine made him famous and especially his colour caricature of Benjamin Disraeli from 1869 was very popular. He met Degas in London and he painted his portrait in 1876 or 1877. Degas returned the favour, painting Pellegrini's portrait. Pellegrini's portraits were far less successful than his caricatures.

He dressed carefully and many people knew he was homosexual, although this was dangerous at the time. He drank heavily, smoked cigars continously and even claimed that he slept with a cigar in his mouth. In 1889 he died at his home in London of lung disease and he was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green.

Related persons
• painted Degas, Edgar
• drew Huxley, Thomas Henry
• drew Shelley, Percy Florence, 3rd Baronet
• knew Whistler, James MacNeill
• drew Wilde, Oscar


The grave of Carlo Pellegrini at St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green, London.
Picture by Androom (08 Feb 2012)


Carlo Pellegrini - Wikipedia

Pelleport, Pierre de

Published: 09 Nov 2014
Last update: 20 Apr 2024