August 31, 2008

The Raphael Cartoons

Filed under: Art and Drawings,Valentines Day — sarah @ 4:56 pm

I went to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London or the V&A as it is known to the locals. I didn’t have a purpose as such, I just thought that as I needed to kill a couple of hours and was in South Kensington it might be nice to wander around in there.

I decided to look at the Raphael Cartoons 1515-1516, The Arts of St Peter and St Paul lent by her Majesty the Queen.

On first entering the room I thought I was in for a great treat as I looked at the large pictures dominating the walls of quite a big gallery but there was dim lighting and the pictures themselves were very dark – I assume the dim lights were to protect them. The lighting there was also caused great glare and reflections from the protective screens they had in front of them. It was also stiflingly hot in there which I would have thought would be bad for the pictures.

The one I really wanted to look at but couldn’t really see any of at all was a tapestry of The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, this is apparently woven in wool and silk with metal thread and was made as a copy of the painting.  As far as I could tell from the write ups Raffaello Sanzio 1483-1520 had made the copies in tapestry form at the request of Pope Leo X, however from further reading I have discovered that Raffaello is Raphael and is responsible for the paintings and they were painted with the idea of turning them into tapistries to rival Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.

I would have loved to have got a good look at them and it seems a shame that they are hanging there and are still not really accessible to the public when they should be. The thing that always bugs me about art galleries and museums that I have visited is they never have the postcards for the things I want postcards of.

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