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Raphael's drawings, as well as those attributed to him in the 19th century

After a work previously attributed to Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520)

Sleeping Ariadne c.1853-1876

Albumen print | 22.2 x 32.1 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 854554

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A photograph of a drawing depicting Sleeping Ariadne now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (inv. no. WA1846.255). The statue representing Sleeping Ariadne is a Roman copy after a Hellenistic original (2nd century BC) now in the Vatican Museum.

Parker (see Bibliographic References), affirms that this statue was "the inspiration for Raphael's figure of Calliope of the Parnassus", painted in c.1510-11 in the Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican. This drawing was previously in the collection of Sir Thomas Lawrence and it was then attributed to Raphael, but Parker suggested an artist close to Baldassarre Peruzzi or Peruzzi himself.  

This drawing is considered the oldest existing copy of the statue and Parker rejected any connection with an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi of the same subject (see RCIN 854557 for the engraving). 

This statue was purchased from Angelo Maffei in 1512 by Pope Julius II, who placed it in the Belvedere Courtyard, Vatican where it was used as decoration for a fountain. The figure was initially identified as Cleopatra because of the snake bracelet on the upper left arm, reminiscent of the asp that caused her death. At the end of the 18th century, Ennio Quirino Visconti recognised her as Ariadne, the princess who, after helping Theseus escaping from Minos' labyrinth, was left asleep on the island of Naxos, until the arrival of Dionysus.

  • Creator(s)

    After a work previously attributed to Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (draughtsman)

  • 22.2 x 32.1 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Acquired for the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection (c.1853-1876)

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Plastic arts
        • Sculpture
  • Other number(s)

    Ruland p. 345 A.II.2