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

George Robert Lewis (1782-1871)

Study for the figure of a Muse published 1 May 1810

Etching | 38.2 x 26.3 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 852492

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A facsimile of a drawing now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (inv. no.WA1846.182r). Lettered with title and production details. Published in W.Y. Ottley's Italian School of Design, London 1823.

The drawing is an early preparatory study for the figure of the third standing muse to the left of Apollo in Raphael's fresco of Parnassus, painted in c.1510-11 in the Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican. In the fresco the figure was modified and the face was turned to the right. An engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi (RCIN 852473) and a drawing in the Ashmolean Museum (inv. no.WA1846.272; see RCIN 852475 for a photograph of it) record early versions of the Parnassus composition, both of which show the muse as in the photographed drawing. The figure is generally identified as Melpomene, the muse ruling over tragedy.
  • Creator(s)

    George Robert Lewis (1782-1871) (printmaker)

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

    Ottley, W.Y.: 43 Frith Street, Soho (publisher)

  • 38.2 x 26.3 cm (sheet of paper)

  • A Study for the Muse Melpomene in the Frescoe of Mount Parnissus in the Vatican.

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

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • prints
    Subject(s)
    • Religion & Theology
      • Religions and faiths
        • Religions of antiquity
          • Classical mythology
            • Muses
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Greece
          • Mount Parnassus [Greece]
  • Other number(s)

    Ruland p.187 C.I.77

    Bibliographic reference(s)

    Joannides 1983 : Joannides, P., 1983. The Drawings of Raphael, with a complete catalogue, Oxford p.192, no.238v