Saint Paul Rending His Garments

Object Details

Title:

Saint Paul Rending His Garments

Artist/Maker(s):

Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (Italian, 1483 - 1520)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1515 - 1516

Medium:

Metalpoint, heightened with white gouache, on lilac-gray prepared paper

Dimensions:

23 x 10.3 cm (9 1/16 x 4 1/16 in.)

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In 1515 Pope Leo X commissioned Raphael to make cartoons for a series of ten tapestries to decorate the lower walls of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Raphael made this drawing as a study for the figure of Saint Paul in the Sacrifice at Lystra, one of the ten tapestries illustrating the Acts of the Apostles.

The apostle Saint Paul tears his garment in anger at the people of Lystra in Asia Minor, who had prepared a sacrificial offering to the apostle and Saint Barnabas. After the two saints had miraculously cured a lame man, the people of Lystra believed that Paul and Barnabas were the pagan gods Mercury and Jupiter. The expression on Saint Paul's face and the contortion of his body convey his anguish at the pagan offering.

In this drawing Raphael used the metalpoint technique. This laborious technique requires the utmost skill: once a line is drawn in metalpoint, it is very difficult to remove or correct it.

Exhibitions
Raphael and His Circle (October 6, 1987 to January 10, 1988)
  • Pierpont Morgan Library, (New York), October 6, 1987 to January 10, 1988
Raphael et les siens. Autour des dessins du Louvre (March 30 to May 30, 1992)
  • Académie de France à Rome, Villa Medici, (Rome), March 30 to May 30, 1992
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (88)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (38)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Drapery and Costume in European Drawings of the 15th through the 18th Century (March 28 to June 11, 1995) (38)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), March 28 to June 11, 1995
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (38)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Raphael and his Influence Across the Centuries (October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001) (38)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001
From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice (July 20 to October 10, 2010) (38)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 2010