Raphael's Tapestry. ROME. IV. Right Bank. 295
permesso, to visitors to the collections of antiquities (knock at the
door; fee 20-30 e.). The tapestry was executed from cartoons
drawn by Raphael in 1515 and 1516, seven of which were purchased
in Flanders by Charles I. of England, and are now exhibited in
the South Kensington Museum. These designs, derived from the
history of the New Testament. are among the most admirable of the
great master's works (p. lxvii). Each piece of tapestry, wrought at
Brussels (not, as formerly supposed, at Arras, the cradle of the
handicraft) with great skill in wool, silk, and gold, when complete
cost about 700J. They were originally intended to cover the lower
and unpainted part of the walls in the Sistine Chapel, and were
exhibited there for the first time on St. Stephan's Day, 1519. Dur¬
ing the plundering of Rome in 1527 the tapestry was carried off and
seriously injured, but was restored to Julius III. in 1553. In 1798
it fell into the hands of the French, and was sold to a Genoese Jew,
from whom it was repurehased by Pius VII. in 1808. It is now
sadly damaged and faded, especially in the flesh tints. The numerous
other copies in tapestry of these cartoons, of which the oldest are
in Berlin and others in Dresden, Paris, and Vienna, testify to the
widespread admiration which they excited.
The Marginai, Scenes in bronze-colour partly represent scenes from
the life of Leo X. when Cardinal de' Medici. The decorations which sur¬
round the principal designs are chiefly by Raphael's pupil Giovanni da Udine.
The following are the Principal Scenes. lst Section: to the left, *1. Death
of Ananias; *2. St. Peter receiving the keys ('feed my lambs'); '3. Paul
preaching at Athens ; *4. The people of Lystra about to sacrifice to Paul
and Barnabas. — 2nd Section: 5. Christ appearing to Mary Magdalen; 6.
Supper at Emmaus ; 7. Presentation of Christ in the Tempie ; 8. Adoration
of the Shepherds ; 9. Ascension ; 10. Adoration of the Magi. — 3rd Section :
11. Resurrection ; 12. Descent of the Holy Ghost. — We return by the other
side: 13. Paul in prison at Philippi; 14. Religion between Justice and
Mercy ; *15. Stoning of Stephen ; 16. 'Feed my lambs' ; 17. Massacre of the
Innocents (on three pieces); *18. Miraculous Draught of fìshes; "19. Peter
healing the lame man in the Tempie; '20. Conversion of St. Paul. Those
indicated with asterisks are from the cartoons of Raphael (two others are
wanting: Elymas struck with blindness and Coronation of the Virgin).
The rest were executed from cartoons prepared by his pupils after his
death, some of them from small sketches by the master; the Adoration of
the Shepherds, the Ascension, and the Massacre of the Innocents, seem
most in his style. This second series of tapestries was intended for the
great Consistorial Hall.
The pieces of fine early-Flemish tapestry at the end of the first and
the beginning of the second section are even superior in technical work-
manship to Raphael's tapestry. The best are the Madonna and Child and
several scenes from the Passion.
The gallery of the tapestry is adjoined by the Galleria Geo¬
grafica, a corridor 160 yds. long, with maps designed by the Do¬
minican Ignazio Dante, and executed by his brother Antonio under
Gregory XIII. in 1580 ; ceiling-paintings by Tempesta and others ;
also a number of ancient busts, some of them valuable.