Marcantonio Raimondi - engraver, Raffael - inventor - Parnassus
Raphael executed the composition with Mount Parnassus, the seat of the god Apollo and his muses, for Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican palace upon the commission of Pope Julius II. The scene celebrating poetry features Apollo playing a lyre in the company of the Nine Muses. The famous poets of the past, displayed on the left, include the blind Homer surrounded by Dante Alighieri and Virgile. The right part of the rendition captures contemporary poets. The print somehow differs from the Vatican fresco - for example in the number of poets (the fresco displays nine poets of the past, including the poetess Sappho, and nine contemporary ones), in the positions of some figures (including Apollo who plays lyre in the print but the contemporary instrument lira da braccio in the fresco), and a few other details. It is therefore clear that Raimondi in this case, too, worked from one of the preparatory sketches instead of a final painting.
measurements: height 356 mm
width 474 mm
in collections:
material: paper
technique: engraving
inventory number: R 158305
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings