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The frescoes in the Vatican Palace commissioned by Popes Julius II and Leo X

Agostino dei Musi (c. 1490-after 1536)

A Group from Raphael's School of Athens dated 1524

Engraving | 39.2 x 26.8 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 852585

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The composition of this engraving is derived from the group of philosophers depicted in the left foreground of Raphael's School of Athens. Lower corners made up. Dated: 1524, and signed with engraver's monogram: AV. Trimmed along right edge. Lettered on the base of the column at right: RAP[HAEL URB INVENTOR]. Second state.

In the engraving Agostino turned the figures of the philosopher writing in a book, generally identified as Pythagoras, and of the youth holding a tablet before him into an Evangelist writing the Gospel in Greek, being presented with the text by an angel. Scholars have offered different interpretations of the figure: Bellori (1695) interpreted him as St Mark, Cordellier/Py (1992) as St Matthew, and Oberhuber/Gnann (1999) and Höper (2001) as St Luke. The inscriptions appear to be passages from the Gospel of Luke.

In his account of Raphael's fresco, Vasari misinterpreted the figure of Pythagoras describing him as St Matthew writing the Gospel with the assistance of an angel. For further discussion, see Bibliographic References.
  • Creator(s)

    Agostino dei Musi (c. 1490-after 1536) (engraver)

    After Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520) (artist)

  • 39.2 x 26.8 cm (sheet of paper)

  • Added to the Prince Consort's Raphael Collection (c.1853-76)

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • prints
    Subject(s)
    • Philosophy & Psychology
      • Philosophers
  • Other number(s)

    Ruland p.193 D.132

    Bibliographic reference(s)

    Raphael Invenit 1985 : G. Bernini Pezzini et al., Raphael Invenit. Stampe di Raffaello nelle Collezioni dell'Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome, 1985 p.39, no.IV, 5 (entry by Stefania Massari)

    Cordellier/Py 1992 : Raphael : son atelier, ses copistes, 1992 / par Dominique Cordellier et Bernadette Py, Paris (Inventaire general des dessins Italiens ; V / sous la direction de Francoise Viatte) p.137

    Landau/Parshall 1994 : Landau, D., and Parshall, P., 1994. The Renaissance Print, Yale University. p.288

    Oberhuber/Gnann 1999 : Roma e lo stile classico di Raffaello, 1515-1527 / a cura di Konrad Oberhuber ; catalogo di Achim Gnann, 1999 p.327, no.237

    Höper 2001 : Höper, C. Raffael und die Folgen, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2001 pp.375-6, no.F 2.3