Raphael - Printmaking


Raphael made no prints himself, but entered into a collaboration with Marcantonio Raimondi to produce engravings to Raphael's designs, which created many of the most famous Italian prints of the century, and was important in the rise of the reproductive print. His interest was unusual in such a major artist; from his contemporaries it was only shared by Titian, who had worked much less successfully with Raimondi. A total of about fifty prints were made; some were copies of Raphael's paintings, but other designs were apparently created by Raphael purely to be turned into prints. Raphael made preparatory drawings, many of which survive, for Raimondi to translate into engraving.

The most famous original prints to result from the collaboration were Lucretia, the Judgement of Paris and The Massacre of the Innocents (of which two virtually identical versions were engraved). Among prints of the paintings The Parnassus (with considerable differences) and Galatea were also especially well-known. Outside Italy, reproductive prints by Raimondi and others were the main way that Raphael's art was experienced until the twentieth century. Baviero Carocci, called "Il Baviera" by Vasari, an assistant who Raphael evidently trusted with his money, ended up in control of most of the copper plates after Raphael's death, and had a successful career in the new occupation of a publisher of prints.

  • Drawing for a Sibyl in the Chigi Chapel.

  • The Massacre of the Innocents, engraving by (?) Raimondi from a design by Raphael. The version "without fir tree".

  • Judgement of Paris, still influencing Manet, who used the seated group in his most famous work.

  • Galatea, engraving after the fresco in the Villa Farnesina

Read more about this topic:  Raphael

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