St. Paul and James Thornhill: a Protestant Raphaelite narrative

Engraved copies of Sir James Thornhill’s painted monochrome illustrations of the life of the apostle Paul for the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

James Thornhill’s modellos for the eight painted panels in the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. (Owned by the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral.)

Engravings of Sir James Thornhill’s painted copies of the cartoons for Raphael’s tapestries for the Sistine Chapel Rome, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. (Since 1959 Thornhill’s paintings have been owned by Columbia University U.S.A.)

Sir James Thornhill’s painted copies of three of the seven surviving cartoons for Raphael’s ten tapestries.

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Paul shipwrecked on Malta casting the viper out of the fire. (Painting in situ.)

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The conversion of Saul.

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The blinding of Elymas the sorcerer.

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Paul and Barnabas rending their garments.

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The keeper of the prison kneeling before Paul and Silas as the angel releases them.

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Paul preaching to the Athenians.

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Paul watching as the books of magic are burnt at Ephesus.

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Paull attempting to persuade Agrippa to become a Christian.

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Paul shipwrecked at Malta casting the viper out of the fire.

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The Rubens Mysteries of Salvation 1: The Fall of the Rebel Angels

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Rubens’ Mysteries of Salvation re-imaged; presented by Phillip Medhurst.

In 1621 the Jesuits in Antwerp completed the construction of a magnificent new church. Rubens was commissioned to create 36 ceiling paintings in the sanctuary’s side aisles and galleries, and 3 in the underside of the organ loft. Each work measured approx. 210 by 280 cms. All of his designs were rendered di sotto in sú. In 1718 the church was struck by lightning, and the paintings, on canvas set into wooden frames, were destroyed in the ensuing fire.

In the side aisles and under the organ loft were depictions of saints.

The paintings in each of the 18 bays in the upper-level galleries (copies of which are here presented) depicted the mysteries of salvation through a series of typological comparisons between Old and New Testament scenes. Rubens’s original compositions survive in 2 preliminary drawings and 29 oil sketches by his own hand (5 grisailles and 24 coloured modelli), now in various collections. In 1711-12 Jacob De Wit (1695-1754) made drawings (now lost) after 36 of the 39 ceiling paintings. On hearing of their destruction he set about publishing his set of drawings. Dissatisfied with his initial sketches, De Wit made several sets of variously sized copies using red and black chalk and watercolours. A set of 36 watercolours is kept in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet in Antwerp. 35 watercolours reside in the Courtauld Institute. De Wit then passed on the project to the engraver Jan Punt. Another series of drawings was completed by Christian Benjamin Müller (1690-1758) six months before the fire. These are now in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet, Antwerp.

The Rubens Mysteries of Salvation 2: The Adoration of the Shepherds

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Rubens’ Mysteries of Salvation re-imaged; presented by Phillip Medhurst.

In 1621 the Jesuits in Antwerp completed the construction of a magnificent new church. Rubens was commissioned to create 36 ceiling paintings in the sanctuary’s side aisles and galleries, and 3 in the underside of the organ loft. Each work measured approx. 210 by 280 cms. All of his designs were rendered di sotto in sú. In 1718 the church was struck by lightning, and the paintings, on canvas set into wooden frames, were destroyed in the ensuing fire.

In the side aisles and under the organ loft were depictions of saints.

The paintings in each of the 18 bays in the upper-level galleries (copies of which are here presented) depicted the mysteries of salvation through a series of typological comparisons between Old and New Testament scenes. Rubens’s original compositions survive in 2 preliminary drawings and 29 oil sketches by his own hand (5 grisailles and 24 coloured modelli), now in various collections. In 1711-12 Jacob De Wit (1695-1754) made drawings (now lost) after 36 of the 39 ceiling paintings. On hearing of their destruction he set about publishing his set of drawings. Dissatisfied with his initial sketches, De Wit made several sets of variously sized copies using red and black chalk and watercolours. A set of 36 watercolours is kept in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet in Antwerp. 35 watercolours reside in the Courtauld Institute. De Wit then passed on the project to the engraver Jan Punt. Another series of drawings was completed by Christian Benjamin Müller (1690-1758) six months before the fire. These are now in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet, Antwerp.

The Rubens Mysteries of Salvation 3: Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

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Rubens’ Mysteries of Salvation re-imaged; presented by Phillip Medhurst.

In 1621 the Jesuits in Antwerp completed the construction of a magnificent new church. Rubens was commissioned to create 36 ceiling paintings in the sanctuary’s side aisles and galleries, and 3 in the underside of the organ loft. Each work measured approx. 210 by 280 cms. All of his designs were rendered di sotto in sú. In 1718 the church was struck by lightning, and the paintings, on canvas set into wooden frames, were destroyed in the ensuing fire.

In the side aisles and under the organ loft were depictions of saints.

The paintings in each of the 18 bays in the upper-level galleries (copies of which are here presented) depicted the mysteries of salvation through a series of typological comparisons between Old and New Testament scenes. Rubens’s original compositions survive in 2 preliminary drawings and 29 oil sketches by his own hand (5 grisailles and 24 coloured modelli), now in various collections. In 1711-12 Jacob De Wit (1695-1754) made drawings (now lost) after 36 of the 39 ceiling paintings. On hearing of their destruction he set about publishing his set of drawings. Dissatisfied with his initial sketches, De Wit made several sets of variously sized copies using red and black chalk and watercolours. A set of 36 watercolours is kept in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet in Antwerp. 35 watercolours reside in the Courtauld Institute. De Wit then passed on the project to the engraver Jan Punt. Another series of drawings was completed by Christian Benjamin Müller (1690-1758) six months before the fire. These are now in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet, Antwerp.

The Rubens Mysteries of Salvation 4: The Adoration of the Magi

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Rubens’ Mysteries of Salvation re-imaged; presented by Phillip Medhurst.

In 1621 the Jesuits in Antwerp completed the construction of a magnificent new church. Rubens was commissioned to create 36 ceiling paintings in the sanctuary’s side aisles and galleries, and 3 in the underside of the organ loft. Each work measured approx. 210 by 280 cms. All of his designs were rendered di sotto in sú. In 1718 the church was struck by lightning, and the paintings, on canvas set into wooden frames, were destroyed in the ensuing fire.

In the side aisles and under the organ loft were depictions of saints.

The paintings in each of the 18 bays in the upper-level galleries (copies of which are here presented) depicted the mysteries of salvation through a series of typological comparisons between Old and New Testament scenes. Rubens’s original compositions survive in 2 preliminary drawings and 29 oil sketches by his own hand (5 grisailles and 24 coloured modelli), now in various collections. In 1711-12 Jacob De Wit (1695-1754) made drawings (now lost) after 36 of the 39 ceiling paintings. On hearing of their destruction he set about publishing his set of drawings. Dissatisfied with his initial sketches, De Wit made several sets of variously sized copies using red and black chalk and watercolours. A set of 36 watercolours is kept in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet in Antwerp. 35 watercolours reside in the Courtauld Institute. De Wit then passed on the project to the engraver Jan Punt. Another series of drawings was completed by Christian Benjamin Müller (1690-1758) six months before the fire. These are now in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet, Antwerp.

The Rubens Mysteries of Salvation 5: David and Goliath

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Rubens’ Mysteries of Salvation re-imaged; presented by Phillip Medhurst.

In 1621 the Jesuits in Antwerp completed the construction of a magnificent new church. Rubens was commissioned to create 36 ceiling paintings in the sanctuary’s side aisles and galleries, and 3 in the underside of the organ loft. Each work measured approx. 210 by 280 cms. All of his designs were rendered di sotto in sú. In 1718 the church was struck by lightning, and the paintings, on canvas set into wooden frames, were destroyed in the ensuing fire.

In the side aisles and under the organ loft were depictions of saints.

The paintings in each of the 18 bays in the upper-level galleries (copies of which are here presented) depicted the mysteries of salvation through a series of typological comparisons between Old and New Testament scenes. Rubens’s original compositions survive in 2 preliminary drawings and 29 oil sketches by his own hand (5 grisailles and 24 coloured modelli), now in various collections. In 1711-12 Jacob De Wit (1695-1754) made drawings (now lost) after 36 of the 39 ceiling paintings. On hearing of their destruction he set about publishing his set of drawings. Dissatisfied with his initial sketches, De Wit made several sets of variously sized copies using red and black chalk and watercolours. A set of 36 watercolours is kept in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet in Antwerp. 35 watercolours reside in the Courtauld Institute. De Wit then passed on the project to the engraver Jan Punt. Another series of drawings was completed by Christian Benjamin Müller (1690-1758) six months before the fire. These are now in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet, Antwerp.

The Rubens Mysteries of Salvation 6: The Temptation of Christ

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Rubens’ Mysteries of Salvation re-imaged; presented by Phillip Medhurst.

In 1621 the Jesuits in Antwerp completed the construction of a magnificent new church. Rubens was commissioned to create 36 ceiling paintings in the sanctuary’s side aisles and galleries, and 3 in the underside of the organ loft. Each work measured approx. 210 by 280 cms. All of his designs were rendered di sotto in sú. In 1718 the church was struck by lightning, and the paintings, on canvas set into wooden frames, were destroyed in the ensuing fire.

In the side aisles and under the organ loft were depictions of saints.

The paintings in each of the 18 bays in the upper-level galleries (copies of which are here presented) depicted the mysteries of salvation through a series of typological comparisons between Old and New Testament scenes. Rubens’s original compositions survive in 2 preliminary drawings and 29 oil sketches by his own hand (5 grisailles and 24 coloured modelli), now in various collections. In 1711-12 Jacob De Wit (1695-1754) made drawings (now lost) after 36 of the 39 ceiling paintings. On hearing of their destruction he set about publishing his set of drawings. Dissatisfied with his initial sketches, De Wit made several sets of variously sized copies using red and black chalk and watercolours. A set of 36 watercolours is kept in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet in Antwerp. 35 watercolours reside in the Courtauld Institute. De Wit then passed on the project to the engraver Jan Punt. Another series of drawings was completed by Christian Benjamin Müller (1690-1758) six months before the fire. These are now in the Stedelijk Prentenkabinet, Antwerp.