Raphael 1483 – 1520

Ezekiel's Vision

oil on panel (41 × 29 cm) — ca. 1518 Museum Palazzo Pitti, Florence

Raphael biography

This work is linked to Ezekiel 1:25

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Tags: Prophets

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In a vision the prophet Ezekiel sees "the appearance of a man" sitting on a throne shaped by four creatures. The creatures have different faces: that of a man, an ox, a lion and an eagle. The "appearance" speaks to Ezekiel, who realises that it is God himself who speaks to him.

Ezekiel is the tiny figure standing in the beam of light in the bottom left.

St Hieronymus, a father of the church who lived from 347 until 420 AD, used the four creatures as symbols for the four evangelists. Man was the symbol for Matthew, the lion for Mark, the ox for Luke and the eagle for John.

French troops robbed the panel in 1799 and took it from Florence to Paris. After Napoleon's defeat it was returned to Florence in 1816. It now still is in the Galleria Palatina of the Palazzo Pitti.

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