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Bathed in divine light, the angel in this red chalk drawing by Renaissance artist Raphael commands worship of God with his pointing left arm, guiding our attention upwards. He expresses tenderness towards humanity below with his more open right hand.
The symbol of the angel is strongly associated with Christmas, due to the important role that they played as informants in the traditional Christmas story.
This piece was a preparatory drawing for the mosaics of the Chigi Chapel in Rome, and was intended to be the angel above the head of Jupiter.
Artist/makerRaphael (1483 - 1520)
Datec. 1515 - 1516
Material and technique
red chalk over some blind stylus
Dimensionssheet 19.7 x 16.8 cm (height x width)
No. of items
Presented by a Body of Subscribers, 1846.
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Parker, Karl Theodore, Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings in the Ashmolean Museum, II, Italian Schools (Oxford, 1956), 567
Parker, Karl Theodore, Raphael: Drawings selected from the Collection in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford (Oxford University Press, 1982), pl. 23