Raphael 1483 – 1520

The Stoning of St Stephen

pen drawing (26 × 42 cm) — c. 1514-1515 Museum Albertina, Vienna

Raphael biography

This work is linked to Acts 7:58

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This drawing is probably a sketch for one of the cartoons Raphael made for tapestries in the Sistine Chapel. The cartoon has been lost, but the tapestry is still in the Chapel.

Stephen was a member of the first Christian community in Jerusalem. He was persecuted by the Jewish high priests and stoned to death by an angry mob. Witness to the stoning was Saul, who would later become the apostle Paul.

The man sitting at the left is thought to be Saul/Paul. Raphael drew the figures naked in order to get their anatomy and posture right.

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