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Another section rich in sixteenth-century prints after Raphael's designs

After Lucas Vorsterman (1595-1675)

The Vision of St Helena after 1853

Albumen print | 25.7 x 17.5 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 852329

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A photograph of a print by Lucas Vorsterman which reproduces, in reverse, a painting by Paolo Veronese depicting the Vision of St Helena, now in the National Gallery, London (inv. no. NG1041). Not in Ruland (1876). Annotated on the verso.

Veronese's painting is inspired by a drawing now in the Uffizi, Florence (inv. no. 1973 F) by Raphael, and which is dated 1514 by Joannides (see Bibliographic References). The drawing was traditionally catalogued as by Parmigianino (Bartsch suggested that this print was after a drawing either by Raphael or Parmigianino). More recently, archival documents have proved the attribution of the drawing to Raphael (see Bibliographic References).

The female figure has been variously interpreted as Danae (on the basis of a later inscription on the drawing) or most likely as the representation of St Helena. According to the story, during her quest to discover the location of the True Cross (the cross on which Christ had been crucified), St Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, received divine help whilst dreaming.

In the drawing in the Uffizi the woman is depicted on the left, with various studies for God the Father appearing to Moses and architectural studies for St Peter's Basilica. The first set of studies is related to the composition of Moses before the Burning Bush, designed by Raphael and painted in the vault of the Stanza di Eliodoro in the Vatican.

This photograph is listed as a handwritten addition in the master copy of the catalogue. Nevertheless, the photograph is pasted on a folio sheet and the organisation of the Raphael Collection is believed to have been largely completed by 1876.
  • Creator(s)

    After Lucas Vorsterman (1595-1675) (printmaker)

    After Paolo Veronese (1528-88) (artist)

    Associated with Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (draughtsman)

    Associated with Marcantonio Raimondi (c. 1480-1534) (engraver)

    Associated with Parmigianino (Parma 1503-Casalmaggiore 1540) (draughtsman)

  • annotation: 5 [verso, centre, in ink]
    annotation: long text [verso, top left, in ink]
  • 25.7 x 17.5 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Probably acquired for the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection (after 1876)

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    Subject(s)
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Construction
        • Structural parts of buildings
          • Windows
            • Window sills
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Religions of antiquity
          • Classical mythology
            • DanaĆ« (myth)
  • Other number(s)

    Ruland p.172 B.XXII.11a(add)

    Bibliographic reference(s)

    Hollstein : Hollstein, F.W.H., 1949. Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts 1450-1700. 32 vols, Amsterdam no.81

    Inventario Uffizi. Disegni Esposti II 1987 : Disegni esposti, vol. 2, 1987 / a cura di Annamaria Petrioli Tofani, Florence (Gabinetto disegni e stampe degli Uffizi) p. 441, no. 1973 F

    Joannides 1983 : Joannides, P., 1983. The Drawings of Raphael, with a complete catalogue, Oxford p. 219, no. 342r