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Cartoon for a tapestry - The Death of Ananias (Acts 5: 1-5)
  • The Death of Ananias (Acts 5: 1-5)
    Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520
  • Enlarge image

The Death of Ananias (Acts 5: 1-5)

  • Object:

    Cartoon for a tapestry

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)

  • Date:

    about 1515-1516 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bodycolour on paper mounted onto canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Lent by Her Majesty The Queen

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Raphael, Room 48a, The Raphael Cartoons

The Death of Ananias (Acts 5: 1-5)

The Raphael cartoons are designs for tapestries and were commissioned from Raphael by Pope Leo X (1513-21) in 1515. The tapestries were intended to hang in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, built by one of Leo's predecessors Pope Sixtus IV (1471-84). The Chapel was primarily intended for the use of the Pope and the Papal chapel, the body of clergy and Laity immediately surrounding him. The decoration of the chapel under Sixtus dealt largely with the theme of the Pope's authority. The tapestries continued this theme, illustrating scenes from the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul who were seen as the founders of the Christian Church, and the sources of the Pope's authority and power. They had in addition woven borders showing scenes from Leo's life, also designed by Raphael: the cartoons for these have not survived.

In this cartoon the apostles have persuaded some men of property to sell their land or houses, so that the proceeds can be distributed to the poor. Ananias secretly keeps back some of the proceeds from his land. Rebuked by Peter for his deceitfulness, Ananias falls down dead.

For further information on the Raphael Tapestry Cartoons please see the V&A website under : Collections, Paintings & Drawings, Paintings & Drawings Features, Raphael Cartoons.

Physical description

Cartoon for a tapestry

Place of Origin

Italy (made)


about 1515-1516 (made)


Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Bodycolour on paper mounted onto canvas


Height: 320 cm, Width: 390 cm

Descriptive line

Raphael Cartoon The Death of Ananias (Acts 5: 1-5)

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Visit the Royal Collection Trust’s website for more information at www.rct.uk/collection




Watercolour drawing


Paintings; Tapestry; Biblical Imagery; Drawings; Christianity; Designs


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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