Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What bliss...

In London last March I was thrilled to see the Raphael cartoons for the Sistine Chapel tapestries at the Victoria and Albert Museum; but I had never seen the tapestries.

Now four of them will be displayed with their cartoons at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

They were commissioned by Pope Leo X in 1515 and "cost about three and a half times the amount Michelangelo was paid for painting the Sistine Chapel's ceiling." You can read more about them here.

Although taking pictures is prohibited, I snuck a quick one of this particular cartoon because it was so overwhelmingly gorgeous. Please pardon, hence, the blur; and note how the cartoon is the reverse of the tapestry, as in print-making... It is interesting to compare the color and texture of the (chalk) caroon with the woven tapestry. I remember that on the signage for the cartoons it said that Leo X requested the most possible gold thread be used, he wanted to outHerod Herod, as it were, and have his grand luxe woven into every inch.

The exhibition runs until October 13.

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