LOGGIE DI RAFAELE NEL VATICANO
Rafaello Sanzio d' Urbino called "Raphael" (1483 - 1520), one of the most gifted painters during the Italian Renaissance, was commissioned by Pope Leo X (1513 - 1521) to adorn walls and ceilings of the "Loggie", the Papal palace in the Vatican. Ralphael had earned the honor on account of the paintings in the "Stanze" which he had executed much to the delight and satisfaction of the Pope.
Raphael conceived his plans for the Loggie: Themes mostly from the Old Testament in 13 ceiling vaults with altogether 52 ceiling frescoes and ornamental paintings in the style of antique grotto-frescoes on doors and on the 14 pairs of pillars which support the building. He gave Giulio Romano the responsibility for this major enterprise and let Giovanni da Udine, also a famous painter in Rapael's workshop, do the painting of the "grottesche". Papal moneyorders to Raphael show that the works were begun in 1518 and finished in 1519, just months before Raphael's death.
Raphael devoted 12 of the 13 vaults to the Old Testament and the last one to Jesus. Each vault consists of 4 paintings. The first vault shows God's creation of the world, and the second shows the lives of Eve and Adam to the banishment of the Garden of Eden. The vault frescoes from the third to the twelfth, depict the lives of Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, (two vaults with 8 Paintins), Joshua, David and Salomon.
The pilaster-frescoes, executed by Giovanni da Udine, are immensely decorative. There is a total of 28. Their subject matters are plants and flowers, fruit and tendrils, mythological figures and fabulous creatures, architectural elements and draperies, all combined to an artful composition of which the eye never tires to discover and admire. Much reminds one of the marginal adornments of illuminated manuscripts in the Netherlands and Northernern France.
Giovanni Volpato (1733-1803) and Giovanni Ottaviani (1735-1808), both excellent engravers, received the privilege to print a series of Raphael's Loggie paintings from Pope Clemens XIII. This too, was a major enterprise. And the result of their efforts ( between 1772 and 1777) is truly exciting. The very large copper prints (consisting in each case of two parts) are genuine renderings of the Raphael frescoes. Painted in black and white, they were later colored with the opaque non-tranperent water colors (gouaches). Tsarina Catherine II of Russia and Frederic II of Prussia found this artwork so fascinating, that the had it copied into the walls of their chateaux.
And indeed these prints with their magical bright coloring are decorative wall adornments. Their rarity, moreover, will prevent anyone from coming across them again and again. those who are familiar with Munich's Hotal Rafael might have seen and admired these great pieces of art which we chose as especiall appropriate for the rooms with high ceilins, when we had to decorate the hotel. Have a look at the spledor of Renaissance fine art. Doesn't it make you wish you had some of it to decorate your home?
" Divisit lucem a Tenebris, appellavitq: lucem diem, et tenebras Noctum". This title is from the First Book of Genesis, the Story of Creation on the first day: darkness changed into light. Copper etching by Giovanni Ottaviani (ca. 1735-1808) after drawings from Gaetano Savorelli and Pietro Camporesi ( 1726-1781) from "Loggie di Rafaele nel Vaticano". Published in Rome 1772-1777. Very attractive modern hand coloring.
This lovely print shows the painting that was done into the arched ceiling and flat wall beneath. In the upper part is a young god with a very gesticulating manner, separating light from darkness. In the dark blue the lower part are various angels. In the rounded arch above them are decorative grotesques. In the corners are seated Classical figures.
Some light soiling in margins. Small tears (not affecting image) in margins have been repaired. In the center is a somewhat irregular fold. Condition is Almost Very Good.
59 x 56.3 cm ( 23.2 x 22.2 ")
Order Nr. LOGGIEVATICANO4801
" Dixit Deus ad Noe: Fac tibi arcam de lignis laevigatis....Fecit Noe omnia, quae praeceperat illi Deus". From the Book of Genisis, VI. Copper etching by Giovanni Ottaviani (ca. 1735-1808) after drawings by Gaetanao Savorelli and Pietro Camporesi ( 1726-1781). From Loggie di Rafaele nel Vaticano" published in Rome 1772-1777. Attractive modern hand coloring.
This very decorative print from one of the arches shows Noah directing the construction of the Ark. In front of him are two naked workers and a third in the back ground with the beginnings of the Ark. This framed rectangle is surrounded by columns that fit the form of the Vatican arch. The lower part on the flat wall shows a garland of flowers and grotesques.
Margins at the top and bottom are very wide.The margins are somewhat soiled. Small tears have been repaired and a small piece of the lower margin had been replaced. Condition is Almost Very Good.
60.2 x 54.7 cm ( 23.7 x 21.5 ")
Order Nr. LOGGIEVATICANO4802
Raffaelo Santi - Loggia del Vaticano, copper etchings
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Aquatint Etchings by J. Maina - Etchings of Ferarra, Florence, Piacenza, Rome, Verona and Venice.
Architectural Prints by D'Aviler - Copper etchings of Roman monuments.
Classical Rome - Copper etchings by Iacobo Lauro Romano
Fontane di Roma -Fountains of Rome
Piranesi: Classical views of Rome.
Rossi- Classical Statues in Italian Homes and Gardens
Zocchi: Views of Florence
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