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Print - Maiestatis Pontificiae Dum in Capella Xisti Sacra Peraguntur Accurata Delineatio
  • Maiestatis Pontificiae Dum in Capella Xisti Sacra Peraguntur Accurata Delineatio
    Vaccari, Lorenzo
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Maiestatis Pontificiae Dum in Capella Xisti Sacra Peraguntur Accurata Delineatio

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (printed)

  • Date:

    1578 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Vaccari, Lorenzo (publisher)
    Dupérac, Etienne (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    etching and engraving coloured by hand

  • Museum number:

    E.2801-1991

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case R, shelf 9, box B

The so-called Raphael Cartoons are seven full size designs for tapestries by the great Italian Renaissance artist Raphael (1483-1520). They illustrate passages from the Bible concerning the lives of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. None of them is smaller than ten feet high by thirteen feet wide. They belong to Her Majesty the Queen and have been on loan to this museum since 1865. The earliest print relating to the Raphael Cartoons dates from 1516, the year in which Raphael received final payment for the commission. It inaugurates an extraordinary case study in the history of printmaking, stretching over more than four hundred and fifty years and across a wide range of printmaking techniques.

It is possible to make out in this print the positions of four of the tapestries woven from the Cartoons. They are hanging at the bottom of the side walls. On the extreme left is 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes'. Next to it, nearer the altar, is 'Paul Preaching at Athens'. On the extreme right is 'The Death of Ananias'. Next to it, nearer the altar, is 'The Blinding of Elymas'. Curiously, the tapestry of 'Paul Preaching at Athens' on the left wall seems to be shown the same way round as the corresponding Cartoon, although the weaving process entailed the design being reversed. The tapestries on the right wall are shown the correct way round. Before Michelangelo's fresco of 'The Last Judgement' covering the whole end wall was unveiled in 1541, two of the tapestries would have hung there. The bottom part of the print, which depicts additional attendees and includes a key to the numbered figures, has been cut off.

Physical description

Print showing a view of the Sistine Chapel as though drawn from a gallery above looking over towards the Last Judgement during a Mass. This print has had some colour applied to small areas, such as the throne, altar and some of the Cardinals' robes, in red, blue, purple, yellow and (the windows) white.

Top two thirds of original image only. The lower part of the original image and the key to the figures is missing.

Place of Origin

Italy (printed)

Date

1578 (printed)

Artist/maker

Vaccari, Lorenzo (publisher)
Dupérac, Etienne (artist)

Materials and Techniques

etching and engraving coloured by hand

Marks and inscriptions

MAIESTATIS.PONTIFICIA.DVM.IN.CAPELLA.XISTI.SACRA.PERAGVNTVR.ACCVRATA.DELINEAT[IO... cut off]
across top

[numbers]
scattered through image, indicating some sort of key

Smo D.N. celebrante missa, oes Card.les et Epi sut parati / pluuialibus, et mistris. / Quando celebratur prite. S.D.N. Papa, Card.les cappas / hent rubeas, uel usolaccas iuxta temporis consuetudine / et Epi et Praelate hent cappas uiolaceas./ Familia. S.D.N. semper rubeo uestitur.
inscribed in centre of image

Dimensions

Height: 34.4 cm max, trimmed, Width: 37.8 cm max, trimmed

Descriptive line

Upper half of a view of the Sistine Chapel during Mass, by Etienne Duperac, etching and engraving coloured by hand, 1578; Italian.

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

Miller, Liz. 'From Marcantonio Raimondi to the Postcard: Prints of the Raphael Cartoons'. Display leaflet, 1995.
Shearman, John. Raphael's Cartoons in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen and the tapestries for the Sistine Chapel. London, Phaidon, 1972.
Fermor, Sharon. The Raphael Tapestry Cartoons: Narrative, Decoration, Design. London, Scala Books in association with the Victoria and Albery Museum.

Labels and date

It is possible to make out in this print the positions of four of the tapestries woven from the Cartoons. they are hanging at the bottom of the side walls. On the extreme left is 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes'. Next to it, nearer the altar, is 'Paul Preaching at Athens'. On the extreme right is 'The Death of Ananias'. Next to it, nearer the altar, is 'The Blinding of Elymas'. Curiously, the tapestry of 'Paul Preaching at Athens' on the left wall seems to be shown the same way round as the corresponding Cartoon, although the weaving process entailed the design being reversed. The tapestries on the right wall are shown the correct way round. Before Michelangelo's fresco of 'The Last Judgement' covering the whole end wall was unveiled in 1541, two of the tapestries would have hung there. The bottom half of the print with a key to the numbered figures has been cut off. [1995]

Materials

Printing ink; Paper; Watercolour on paper

Techniques

Etching (printing process); Engraving (printing process)

Subjects depicted

Altar; Cardinals; Pope; Raphael Cartoons; Thrones

Categories

Prints; Religion; Christianity

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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