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Raphael Cartoons

  • Object:


  • Date:

    19th century? (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)
    Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    engraving in ink on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case E, shelf 3, box B

This print is based on a cartoon by Raphael. The so-called Raphael Cartoons, which this print reproduces, 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.

Physical description

Saint Paul stands on steps in front of a building, left, preaching to a crowd. Behind is a townscape and two buildings, one rotund with marble columns and statues in niches, the other square with arches. There is a statue of Mars just behind the listening crowd.

This print is in the same direction as the cartoon from which it is derived but faithfully reproduces the compositional details of the original.


19th century? (made)


Unknown (maker)
Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

engraving in ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

[inscriptions have been cut off]


Height: 48.4 cm trimmed to, Width: 60.5 cm trimmed to

Descriptive line

St Paul Preaching at Athens; from a cartoon by Raphael for the tapestries in the Sistine Chapel; engraving; 19th century.

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

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.


Printing ink; Paper

Subjects depicted

Crowd scenes; Clothing, Costume; Classical statues; Rotundas; Townscapes; Raphael Cartoons


Prints; Religion; Christianity


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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