Raphael Tapestry 1843

A Rare Show.

Our citizens have just been favored with an exhibition of "The Sacrifice at Lystra, by Raphæl, in Tapestry." This is one of 25 designs taken from the life of the Savior, and the Acts of his Apostles, by that celebrated Artist, at the request of Pope Leo 10th. These designs were first painted, and the paintings used as patterns or copies by which the tapestries were wrought. The Tapestries were made in Germany by Bernard Van Orlay under the direction and superintendence of Raphæl. The Tapestries when finished were taken to Rome, and the Pope paid $10920 for each. A part were went as a present to Henry 8th of England, where they remained till the death of Charles 1st. They were then sold, and four of them purchased by the Spanish Ambassador and carried to Spain. These were bought a few years ago by our Consul in Spain and brought to this country. Three of them have already returned to England, and this, "The Sacrifice at Lystra," has recently been purchased by Queen Victoria, and is soon to be added to the collection at Hampton Court. The whole collection will then consist of 7, all that are known now to be in existence. The Tapestry here exhibited, "The Sacrifice at Lystra," is intended to illustrate the miracle of the curing of the cripple, recorded in the 14th chapter of the Acts. The principal figures in the group are Paul and Barnabas, the restored cripple, Priests of Jupiter leading in animals to sacrifice to the Apostles, a Greek examining the limb of the man healed, a Disciple arresting the axe of the Priest who is about to slay the ox, &c. The Tapestry is 22 feet in length and 14 wide; and although more than 325 years old, the colors appear to be but little faded. The figures are of the heroic size, and the countenances of the different individuals in the group are very expressive of the varied emotions which were supposed to agitate their minds. In short, it was an exhibition well worth seeing, and we feel as though it were a shame to our Nation to allow such eminent works of Art to be carried from the country. It ought to have been purchased by some of our Literary Institutions, and retained among us for the inspiration and encouragement of our young Artists.


Vermont Phoenix, May 12, 1843.


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