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The Sacrifice at Lystra

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    England (printed)

  • Date:

    1855 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Baxter, George, born 1804 - died 1867 (print-maker)
    Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Baxterotype

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Francis William Baxter

  • Museum number:

    E.2935-1932

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case PE, shelf 51, box N

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 reproduces 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.

George Baxter is famous for having developed a method of printing in full colour. In a total output of three hundred and seventy seven prints, only fifteen, including his prints of the Cartoons, are so-called Baxterotypes. Printed in shades of brown, they simulate photographs and the name echoes the word daguerreotype, the earliest photographic process, announced in 1839. George Baxter's premonition that the depiction of works of art by means of prints made by human hand would soon be facing a challenge from the new photographic processes, was correct. His simulated photographs of the Cartoons predate the first actual photographs of the Cartoons by only three years.

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 and there is a square plinth (altar) 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 standing on a plinth holding a military standard and behind him is a landscape representation with more buildings. Lower right of the image a man has dropped his walking sticks.

On a mount with an embossed seal.

This print is in the same direction as the cartoon from which it is derived and is a faithful reproduction in compositional detail.

Place of Origin

England (printed)

Date

1855 (made)

Artist/maker

Baxter, George, born 1804 - died 1867 (print-maker)
Raphael, born 1483 - died 1520 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Baxterotype

Dimensions

Height: 13 cm, Width: 21.4 cm

Object history note

NB. While the term ‘cripple’ has been used in this record, it has since fallen from usage and is now considered offensive. The term is repeated in this record in its original historical context.

Descriptive line

Print by George Baxter after Raphael, 'St. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra,' 1 of 5 prints from a set of 7 depicting the Raphael Cartoons, Baxterotype, England, 1855

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

Lewis, Courtney. George Baxter, the Picture Printer. 1924.
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.
Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1932. London: HMSO, 1933
cat. no. 253
Lewis, C. T. Courtney. George Baxter (colour printer) his life and work: a manual for collectors. London: S. Low, Marston & Co. Ltd., 1908.

Labels and date

George Baxter is famous for having developed a method of printing in full colour. In a total output of three hundred and seventy seven prints, only fifteen, including his prints of the Cartoons, are so-called Baxterotypes. Printed in shades of brown, they simulate photographs and the name echoes the word daguerreotype, the earliest photographic proceess, announced in 1839. George Baxter's premonition that the depiction of works of art by means of prints made by human hand would soon be facing a challenge from the new photographic processes, was correct. His simulated photographs of the Cartoons predate the first actual photographs of the Cartoons by only three years. [1995]

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Baxter-process printing

Subjects depicted

Crowd scenes; Boxes (containers); Clothing, Costume; Ornament; Plinths; Festoons; Townscapes (representations); Miracle; Columns (architectural elements); Bulls (animal); Altar; Sacrifice; Angels; Healing; Axe; Sandals; Landscapes (representations); Rams (animals); Raphael Cartoons; Medallions (ornament areas); Classical statues

Categories

Prints; Religion; Christianity; Biblical Imagery

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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