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Grand Raphael designs from the Vatican.

300dpiRaphaelPanel.1Have you ever had a great holiday, and returned, still marvelling at the wonderful detail and classical style in the centuries-old buildings you saw? You may not be able to build your own stone chateau or even construct a country mansion like those in Europe, but have you considered bringing the style into your own home with the stunning designs from wall decoration there? Centuries ago, intricate carving and painting of walls and ceilings was done by important artisans. Illustrations of this beautiful work was circulated by engraving copperplates for printing and publishing to enable the rest of the world to enjoy them.

Some of the grandest antique prints ever created show the intricate wall decoration of Raphael pilaster frescos for the Vatican. The designs by Raffaello Giovanni Santi d' Urbino (1483-1520) were painted on the pillars of the loggia (external arcade) to the Pope's private residence at the Vatican. In the 1770's, two hundred years after Raphael and his assistants painted the walls, doors and ceiling arches at the Vatican, an impressive set of magnificent copperplate engravings were created. These are the finest record of Raphael's decorative genius.

Because of their grand size, two large  plates were engraved by skilled artists and engravers for each pilaster. Each pair of original prints from these plates was joined after printing, for publication. These magnificent engravings are remarkable not only as an important visual record of Raphael's stunning designs, but also for the quality and depth of colour that was done by hand with gouache and watercolour.

So great was the importance placed on the grand images of Raphael's pilasters, that ten years later, pairs of the pilasters were engraved half the size of the first publication, for greater availability. Raphael's designs were transposed this time as exquisitely fine detailed copperplate engravings published in both Rome and Paris. Once again, they are appreciated not only for their excellent engraving but also for the brilliance of their hand-colouring.
Raphael Arch.1
Why not enjoy your own hand-coloured copper engravings of Raphael frescos from the Vatican walls and ceilings. Raphael's genius is evident also in his arches and ceiling vaults for the loggia. He based his designs on those in the Roman grottos. His grotesques greatly influenced neoclassical style. Deterioration of Raphael's pilasters has since been arrested by encasing the pillars to protect them from the weather. Where the detail had become illegible, suitable design elements from other work by Raphael was substituted in the engravings of his frescos.
Antique prints of classical wall decoration provide grand decor in any environment. Today we are able to protect works of art by framing with conservation material and protecting it with glass that blocks ultraviolet rays. The stunning original 18th century engravings can be preserved for future generations.

If you would like to own a piece of classical antiquity, make arrangements to view our fine selection of Raphael Loggia engravings at the Antique Print Clubhouse in the hills behind the Gold Coast. If this is geographically impossible, we can take pictures of them and put them on our website so that you can buy them online. They are currently framed. Some of them are listed in the Classical/Design section under Antique Prints on our Antique Print Club website at Raphael Loggia original copperplate engravings. We have a number of the superb original copperplate engravings c1772-1777, as well as smaller pairs from the series published 10 years later. (They too are currently framed).

Posted: 25/02/2014 12:35:10 PM by | with 0 comments