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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 picture represents the moment when the people of Lystra, impressed when Saints Paul and Barnabas heal a cripple (seen on the right), mistake them as gods Mercury and Jupiter and prepare to make sacrifices in their honour before Paul and Barnabas beg them to stop.

This print is based on a cartoon by Raphael. 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.

Physical description

In a town centre square with classical buildings a crowd has gathered to watch a sacrifice of two bulls and a ram. In the centre a man raises an axe to kill the bull standing in the centre. To the left, Saints Paul and Barnabas stand on a raised platform. Centre left is a square plinth ornamented with carved festoons, angles, rams heads, animals a jug and a medallion, behind this stand two boys, one holding a decorated box and the other playing pipes. In the background is a statue of Mercury on a plinth and behind is a landscape representation with more buildings. Lower right of the image a man has thrown away his walking sticks.

This print is in the same direction as the cartoon from which it is derived but is faithful in compositional detail except that the image is slightly taller.


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: 48.1 cm trimmed to, Width: 75 cm trimmed to

Descriptive line

The Sacrifice at Lystra; 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; Boxes; Clothing, Costume; Ornament; Plinths; Festoons; Townscapes; Miracle; Columns; Bulls; Altar; Sacrifice; Angels; Healing; Axe; Sandals; Landscapes; Rams; Raphael Cartoons; Medallions; Classical statues


Prints; Religion; Christianity


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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