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Raphael frescos. Magnificent artwork.

One of the finest artists of the Renaissance, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520) designed magnificent frescos for the Loggia and the Vatican private residence. Having painted frescos on the walls of the apartments ofRaphael.Arch-Concepit Heva.. Pope Julius II, Pope Leo X commissioned Raphael to decorate the loggia adjoining the Pope’s residence. With his assistants, from 1518-1519 (the last two years of his life), Raphael painted his designs on the pilasters (supporting pillars), ceiling vaults and arches of the Loggia. A testament to his genius, they are a High Renaissance masterpiece of classical design.

300 Raphael.Pilaster3250 years later, to record Raphael’s brilliance, Pope Clement XIII ordered the intricate designs of Raphael's early 16th century frescos to be engraved onto copperplates for Le Logge di Rafaele nel Vaticano (The Loggia by Raphael at the Vatican) published circa 1772-1777. An ambitious project, each pilaster fresco was engraved on two large copperplates and each joined pair measures 105cm x 44cm. They are superbly hand-coloured to accentuate Raphael’s imaginative grotesque motifs of beribboned flowers and fruit, gods and graces of mythology, and fine architectural design detail. Where the images had deteriorated and were illegible, design elements from Raphael’s Vatican tapestries were incorporated.

The loggia ceiling vaults and arches were painted with beautiful garlands of fruit and flowers, gods, graces, and mythical beasts. The central vertical folds on the large copperplate engravings of the ceiling arches indicate the size of this grand publication. The images are 33cm x 57cm (13 x 22.5 inches) with superb gouache hand-colour. 

Raphael-Pair Gold-framedThe elegant classical beauty of Raphael’s design, partificularly his panels of grotesques, influenced design for hundreds of years. The grand engravings c1777 of Raphael pilasters were considered so important, that ten years later they were engraved in pairs half the earllier size (each pair measures 37 x 50cm). Published again in Paris c1813 by Pierre-Philippe Choffard, these are exquisitely detailed copperplate engravings of Raphael pilasters. 

Raphael-Pair wood-framed Once again the copperplate engravings were brilliantly hand-coloured in gouache and watercolour.  (Two pairs - each from sets of 6 - are shown here, framed in beautiful hand-made gold-leaf frames, or hand-made gilded antique veneered frames.)
These stunning early engravings of Raphael's fresco designs for the Vatican are of a style and quality more often seen in the Museums of Europe. It is rare that they are available to grace the walls and be enjoyed in your own home.

18thC Raphael Pilasters, ArchesThese are magnificent original 18th century engravings of Raphael's beautiful fresco designs from the Vatican. Some of them can seen in the Antique Prints: Classical/Design section of our website at We have over 22 Raphael Pilasters and Arches, each beautifully framed in conservation materials. If you are interested in grand artwork, please arrange a viewing at our Antique Print Club-house above Springbrook Road on Mt Nimmel Road in Neranwood.
Email or phone 0412 4422 83 & arrange a visit! 

Posted: 26/02/2014 10:42:33 AM by | with 0 comments