Raphael (Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)
Male Figure Symbolizing an Earthquake, 1515–16
Metalpoint, heightened with white, on gray prepared paper
4 1/2 inches (108 mm) diameter
Gift of Janos Scholz, 1977; 1977.45
Photography by Graham Haber, 2009.
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In 1515–16 at the behest of Pope Leo X, Raphael designed a series of tapestries illustrating the Acts of the Apostles, still hanging in the Sistine Chapel. Like all known studies for this series, this drawing, which is preparatory to the scene St. Paul Released from Prison by an Earthquake, is in reverse orientation to the wall hanging. Possibly in response to Michelangelo's recently completed ceiling of the chapel, Raphael conceived the figure in a strongly muscular style, with the three-dimensional presence of the figure making it appear to almost stand in relief from the page.
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