Artist: Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp)
Date: ca. 1601–2
Medium: Red chalk, brush and red and pink wash, bodycolor, heightened with white
Dimensions: 13 7/16 x 11 1/4 in. (34.1 x 28.6 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund and Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Rupp Gift, 1995
Accession Number: 1995.401
As a young artist in Italy between 1600 and 1608, Rubens ardently copied the works of art he encountered for both study and later reference. When he made this record of Raphael's fresco above the entrance to the Chigi Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria della Pace, Rome, Rubens introduced subtle changes that transformed Raphael's static, planar composition into a more dynamic and forceful scene. He imbued the foreground figures with a greater sense of mass and intensified their expressions to contrast the prophet's formidable wisdom with the scribe's youthful concentration. Rubens never adapted this composition for his own use, but he was strongly influenced by Raphael's imposing treatment of drapery for figures in the religious scenes he painted upon his return to Antwerp.