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The Prophet Isaiah by Painter Raphael Sanzio

The Prophet Isaiah by Painter Raphael Sanzio

The Prophet Isaiah
Raphael Sanzio
1511-12, fresco, 250 x 155 cm
Sant'Agostino, Rome

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The painter Raphael Sanzio's fresco of The Prophet Isaiah of 1511-12 in Sant'Agostino, Rome was commissioned by the Head Chancellor of the Papal Court, Johannes Goritz of Luxemburg. This Italian Renaissance painting is a testament to the influence on Raphael of the painter Michelangelo Buonarroti's figures on the Sistine Ceiling. The powerful, full-bodied figure of Isaiah is convincingly modelled to give the illusion of three-dimensionality by the painter, Raphael. Surrounded by putti figures in the background, Isaiah carries a Hebrew scroll with his prophecy foretelling the birth of Christ, and there is a dedicatory inscription to Saint Anne.

The Prophet Isaiah was repainted by Raphael after he saw Michelangelo's prophets.  Subsequently, Raphael's work was retouched by other painters throughout the centuries. Restored in 1960, The Prophet Isaiah sits in splendor once again, the pictorial power of the painter Raphael evident and undiminished with time.

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

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