Raphael 1483 – 1520

The Transfiguration of Christ

oil on panel (405 × 278 cm) — 1516-1520 Museum Pinacoteca Apostolica, Vatican City

Raphael biography

This work is linked to Mark 9:2

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Jesus had climbed a mountain called Tabor with his followers Peter, James and John. He there underwent a transfiguration: he became radiant. He also briefly spoke with Moses (top left) and the prophet Elijah (Elia). To impress Peter and the others even more, God spoke to them from a cloud: "This is my son, listen to him."

The lower half of the panel shows Jesus casting out an evil spirit from a boy, just after returning to his normal state. His disciples had failed at the same. Present-day medics say the boy (bottom right) had an epileptic seizure.

This panel is assumed to be Raphael's last painting. He died at 37 before completing it; it was finished by his student Giulio Romano.

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