Raichel' s Art History - Lectures and articles with the art historian Dr. Raichel Le Goff

Joseph Reveals His Dreams : Giulio Romano by Raichel Le Goff  

ROMANO, Giulio (Giulio di Pietro de Gianuzzi PIPPI) 1499 - 1546


Oil and Tempera on Canvas 740mm x 973mm

Giulio Romano


FORMAL RESEARCH : Raichel A. Le Goff , Oxford University

NB: the following document is the internet version of the formal research study

TECHNICAL & SCIENTIFIC STUDY : Dr Nicholas Eastaugh, London


CONSERVATION : R.M.S. Shepherd Associates, London

THE PAINTING to which these notices are devoted is in a private collection of Italian paintings currently being studied by Studio Veritas. In the following text the painting known as Joseph Reveals His Dreams to His Brothers (for brevity to be referred to hereafter as Joseph Dreams) will be discussed with particular emphasis on its relationship to the Vatican fresco of the same title and to the documented oeuvre of Raphael Santi and Giulio Romano. These observations, combined with detailed technical and scientific evidence are intended to verify the origins and authenticity of this painting. Studio Veritas proposes that Joseph Dreams is a presentation painting for the project of the decoration of the vatican loggia commissioned from Raphael in 1517 by Pope Leo X. We further propose that it is a work of co-operation between the master and his favoured pupil Giulio Romano; Raphael inventing the design and Giulio executing the painting under the master's guidance.
























7.1 CONCLUSION ---------------


FULL TECHNICAL & SCIENTIFIC REPORT (coming soon to this page)

WARNING : This is a long document and has not yet been fully formatted italics, footnotes etc..

1.1 PREPARATORY DRAWINGS There are three known drawings that in the past, by one authority or another, were all ascribed to Raphael and were thought to be the original preparatory drawing for Joseph Dreams. None of them are currently accepted as such. Due to the existence of early engravings which derive from lost preparatory designs and which differ somewhat from the present composition of Joseph Dreams, we know that these three drawings do not represent the prime pensieri as at first glance, they may lead us to believe. The most widely acknowledged of the three drawings is in the Albertina, Vienna and is now attributed to Perino del Vaga by the museum. The second and in many ways, more convincing drawing, was in the collection of Sir Thomas Lawrence the 18th century English painter and was last recorded as being in the collection of Winslow Ames, Saunderston, Rhode Island. The entry for this drawing in the 1924 Ederheimer Sale catalogue, mentions that Dr di Pietro, a curator of drawings at the Uffizi, attributed it 'unquestionably' to Raphael.Whilst this attribution has since been rejected, the Lawrence drawing remains the most Raphaelesque of the three and was probably done after an original modello of Raphael or one of his pupils. In turn, the Lawrence drawing may even have served as the prototype for the Albertina drawing. The third sheet, listed as being in the M. Schiff (Cogswell) Collection, New York, is undoubtedly done after the fresco in the loggia and is of poor quality. Roughly twenty drawings exist which are acredited as being original modelli for various loggia scenes, two of which (David and Goliath and Moses Receives the Commandments) are presently attributed by Dacos to Raphael himself. If we consider that Joseph Dreams is of central importance to the loggia, it seems likely that a similar modello executed by Raphael existed for this scene. The Albertina and Lawrence drawings mentioned above are doubtless copies of this now lost modello. Penni has been suggested as draughtsman of the lost modello, largely because these copies retain something of Penni's whimsical style. The absence in both drawings of landscape and most noticeably, the prominent palm tree, suggests that this lost modello was one or two stages further removed from the completed painting which has developed and refined an original design. Consequently, the easel painting here discussed, served as a 'type' of modello for the artists who frescoed bay VII of the loggia. Perhaps one of the reasons the loggia quadro ripportato showing Joseph Dreams is widely considered the most successful and pleasing picture to be viewed in the loggia is because it alone, was copied from a highly finished oil and tempera painting and not just from an ordinary sketch.


Drawings within Raphael's known oeuvre that could relate to individual figures within the composition have not been proposed by modern scholars but Studio Veritas would like to discuss one drawing in particular that we believe ties in closely to the design for Joseph Dreams. It is a study of three naked men and the legs of another in the British Museum and is firmly given to Raphael. In essence, it responds to the four figures that compose the right half of the painting, that of Joseph and the upright trio of brothers.The figure on the right of the BM drawing is a variant on the figure of the standing brother third from the right in Joseph Dreams who supports his weight on a shepherd's crook. The contrapposto position of the shepherd with his left hip thrust out and the downward slope of his shoulders suggests strongly that of the figure in the BM drawing. Most important, is the unmistakable detail of the left hand that rests on the shaft of the crook with the little finger tucked up in an awkward curl and the two middle fingers extended along the shaft. This is an intricate digital arrangement and is not duplicated in the painting by chance. It is in fact, a detail borrowed from Michelangelo's statue of David which Raphael sketched in Florence c.1504. The upper part of the figure to the left in the BM drawing is related to the figure of Joseph in the gesture of both arms crossing the chest and one hand pointing away from the body. The lower part of this same figure gives the particular stance that is repeated in the figures of the other two brothers in the trio of Joseph Dreams. It has been suggested that the figures in the BM drawing are soldiers, the shafts they hold, swords. If one looks closely at the top of the shaft as held by the figure on the right, one can see the rounded curl of a shepherd's crook and not the hilt of a sword. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the figure would be grasping the naked blade of a sword with his fingers. The figure on the right of the BM drawing appears in a closely related pose in another drawing by Raphael of two nude men, one holding a lamb and both undoubtedly intended to represent shepherds, not soldiers. This drawing and the BM drawing, although regarded as autograph, have not been formally linked to any finished works within Raphael's oeuvre. Raphael would have referred back to folios of earlier figure studies when working out the designs fo the loggia scenes, rather than endlessly pose figures to work from life; time was simply too precious and there were too many designs to produce. So it is likely, that Raphael drew upon the BM drawing, as source material for the design of the four figures in Joseph Dreams, which surely cut the most attractive group in the overall design. _____________________________

Not only are there obvious connections to form, gesture and detail, but the strong young bodies of the nude men and the curly heads int he BM drawing answer those of the shepherds in Joseph Dreams. Furthermore, the attitude of conversation as if they were listening to someone speak and were discussing the issue, again relates to the action witnessed in Joseph Dreams. The success of the individual design for the three brothers was such that it reappears in another loggia scene in bay X The Division of the Promised Land and again in altered form in the group on the left of Giulio's The Continence of Scipio. Another drawing which must be here examined purely for stylistic comparison, is the cartoon for an angel's head in the Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple. When compared to the head in profile of the recumbent figure in the presentation painting, the two are strikingly similar. In the painting, the abbozzo shows through in the outline of the profile, particularly around the tip of the nose. The nose is an area where the artist's hand has reconsidered the line in both the Heliodorus cartoon and in Joseph Dreams. The two heads share the same heavy brow with a crown of tousled forelocks that wave back exposing the ear, the same dark elongated eye and the same parted lips. It is interesting to note that Crowe and Cavacaselle emphatically attribute the cartoon to Giulio whilst the Louvre and other authorities favour an attribution to Raphael. We are more inclined in this case, to consider Raphael as author of the Heliodorus angel especially as it is datable to circa 1511 when Giulio was only an adolescent. In actual size, the head of the shepherd in Joseph Dreams is many times smaller than the head of the Angel in the Heliodorus cartoon, so to render on this smaller scale, such a remarkable likeness, with such deft certainty of line, the artist either had to be one and the same or someone who was so intimately connected to another's technique that he could duplicate detail effortlessly. ______________________________

It is probably the case that Raphael undermodelled the shepherd's head on the canvas of Joseph Dreams as a guideline for his assistant Giulio to work within. It is Raphael who is responsible for the black outline th at we clearly see and Giulio who has painted over the outline in his characteristic red-brick tones. If we are to accept this hypothesis, then it follows that Raphael would not have undermodelled only one small head on the canvas, but indicated a larger part if not all of the composition for Joseph Dreams in abbozzo before its final colouring.


There have been numerous engravings of Raphael's Bible. Here follows a Chronological list of engravings after the completion of the Loggia c.1519 up to Chaperon : 

1. c. 1534 - Marcantonio Raimondi (school of) - (Ill. Ba. p.13. no.28) 2. 1541 - Nicholas Beatrizet - (1507-1563) - Ill. Ba. p.13, no.28 3. c. 1607 - Giovanni Lanfranco - (1581-1647) - Ill. Ba. p.318, no.404. 1613 -Aloisi Galanini - (1577-1638) -Ill. Ba.p,275, no.405. 1615 - Orazio Borgianni - (1578-1620) - de Witt cat. 951576. 1625 - Cesare Fantetti and Pietro Aquila 
MARCANTONIO : The precise date is not known for this engraving which is one of a series of scenes for the loggia engraved by Marcantonio and his workshop. Bartsch has correctly remarked that it must have been conceived from various preliminary loggia designs and not copied from the finished scenes in the loggia. As Marcantonio and his studio had access to the drawings of Raphael during his lifetime and after, this is a logical assumption. It may well be that Raphael handed over an initial series of designs to Marcantonio to be engraved as a separate project. Hypotheses aside, compositional differences between the Marcantonio engravings and the loggia frescoes are just too numerous to suppose that Marcantonio copied from the frescoes. We can further assume that Marcantonio's engravings of the loggia were completed before 1541, the date of Beatrizet's incomplete series which seem to be copied from Marcantonio's prints and which appear in the reverse.Further evidence of there having been various designs for the loggia scenes that differed from the final compositions is furnished by an engraving dated 1533 showing Joseph Sold by His Brothers by the Maitre au De which shows an extra three figures and additional landscape. There is also a drawing in the Uffizi attributed to the studio of Raphael that shows yet another variation on the Joseph theme with a naked Joseph being forced into a stone well by his ten elder brothers.Passavant comments, <>This drawing is fundamentally different from the scene in the loggia which actually shows Joseph being sold by his brothers after he has been raised out of the well. Another Joseph composition exists in a sketch in the Louvre showing Joseph's Cup found in the Sack of Benjamin which again, was intended for the loggia, but not used. The subject was engraved by Bonasone and the composition appears in a basemento format. It was probably a design considered for the existing basemento which shows Joseph Recognised by his Brothers. From these drawings and engravings we can see that the scenes for the Joseph cycle in Bay VII were considered most important by Raphael and several attempts were made to arrive at compositional solutions. We do not have the same surviving evidence to prove that equal consideration was given to other bays in the loggia. Comparing Marcantonio's Joseph Dreams to the easel painting, we can see that the overall composition is less united, less successful, plagued by superfluous details like the large tree trunk on the right. It is likely that the design used for Marcantonio's engraving lay one or two steps anterior to the final design seen in the painting. There is more harmony in the structure of the painting showing that Raphael reconsidered space and pressure.

Diagram I (coming soon to this page)

Comparison of structure of the group of brothers to the left of the composition in both Marcantonio's engraving and in the easel painting of Joseph Dreams. 

Engraving Easel Painting 
In the engraving, the structure of the group is squared with the heads of the brothers aligned horizontally. In the easel painting the strucutre of the group is trapezoidal and angles toward the centre. The reclining figure has moved closer to the group to diminish the distance evident in the engraving. The backdrop to the group in the engraving is a cave with a grassy horizontal overedge shading the brothers. In the painting, it has changed to a sharply inclined hillock that acts as a coulisse, directing the beholder's eye toward the centre. This modification also allows more light to flow onto the scene. Another improvement to the composition was made by moving the dominant palm tree off-centre. In the engraving, the tree was centred behind Joseph causing a hiatus which virtually cut the composition into halves, and almost placed Joseph on a small 'island' of his own. Raphael has moved the tree sligtly to the right and allowed the figures of Joseph and the standing brother with the crook to block off the lower half of the treetrunk. This has the effect of tightening up the composition and moving attention away from the stark prominence of the tree as it appeared in the engraving. In closing the gap between tree and figures, the traveller's bundle which is tied to Joseph's hip in the engraving has been eliminated. This explains why Joseph appears in the final design with a sash across his torso, it remained after the bundle was erased. Like a yard-stick, the crook of the shepherd to the right shows the degree to which the gap was closed, for in the engraving, it crosses in front of Joseph's raised back foot whilst int he painting, it crosses the forward foot and almost reaches to the foot of the reclining figure in the left plane, effectively bridging the division between left and right.The silhouette of the horizon has also been modified to concentrate on a more defined landscape with a single mountain peak and a horizontal stretch of calm water that responds to the cloud formation bordering the sky, a feature totally absent from the engraving. Concerning the figures, perhaps the major difference is in the brother to the right of Joseph leaning on his shepherd's crook. In the engraving, this figure does not adopt the attractive contrapposto position and he stands uncomfortably erect like a giant towering over his brothers. The other two figures of the trio display an unnatural arrangement of legs, almost a "caterpillar" effect. This awkwardness had been rectified by the time of the painting. As Jean-Pierre Cuzin argues, <>In the group to the left of the engraving, Raphael has altered the unbearded kneeling figure who looks away distractedly and wears a hooded robe. In the painting, he is a strongly individual character with a beard (probably the eldest brother Reuben) who focuses directly on Joseph with intent concentration. In this guise, the figure re-appears in Raphael's cartoon for the tapestry of St Paul Preaching at Athens, again situated to the extreme left of a scene in which the figure is listening intently to a speaker. Raphael must also have decided that there was one shepherd's crook too many as he has taken away the prop of the figure seated low in the group but retained the distinctive curl of the hand upon which the young shepherd's cheek rests. This effected gesture derives from a figure seated third from the right in Raphael's Judgement of Paris. Engraved by Marcantonio, the Judgement of Paris was a composition which proved a great success for Raphael and from which several elements in Joseph Reveals his Dreams to his Brothers can be traced. _______________________________

Among the many differences to be noted in this genesis between the initial and final design for Joseph Dreams is the rearrangement of the flock of sheep. In the engraving there are fewer animals and the heads of those that are visible have curled horns indicating they are rams. Instead of the dense herd grazing in the painting, three rams lift their heads and they are solely of white fleece whereas we see a few black sheep included afterwards.

BEATRIZET : (In reverse). This image varies from the painting in much the same way as the above with the exception that here, the standing shepherd has adopted the contrapposto position. This indicates that there may have been a separate sketch worked out for these three figures in an effort to rectify the awkwardness of the earlier version as seen in Marcantonio's engraving. Perhaps a drawing by Raphael that related to the BM drawing of three figures discussed in paragraph

LATER ENGRAVINGS : After Beatrizet's series of 1541 it would appear that engravers drew their inspiration directly from the frescoes. In Lanfranco's Joseph Reveals his Dreams to his Brothers of c. 1607, (in reverse) we see the short and stocky figure of Joseph, the startled expressions of the brothers and the landscape much the same as it appears today in the Vatican loggia.


Mention should be made of a series of watercolours commissioned c. 1555, which are really the first complete record of the loggia decorations. Bernice Davidson has made extensive use of the codex in her work on the loggia. For details of landscape and expression etc. it is not really useful to compare the watercolour illustration of Joseph Reveals his Dreams to his Brothers with the presentation painting as the quality of the drawing is too poor, but it is interesting to examine the use of colour._______________________________

The robes of the eleven visible figures (the twelfth having only the head visible), match the colours of those seen in the presentation painting with the exception of the robes of Joseph and the reclining figure. In the codex, Joseph's robe is rendered in the same pink shade as the reclining figure to the left and the standing figure to the right in Joseph Dreams. Together they constitute the three central figures of the composition. As such, it is unlikely that the three would all be painted in the same rosy shades when so much care has been taken with the rest of the composition to provide strong colour contrasts; the red, yellow, blue sequence of the standing trio to the right being an example. It is more feasible that the artist of the codex was not entirely faithful to what he saw. If one looks at the fresco which although faded, still retains a fair indication of its original vibrancy, one can see that the reclining figure is dressed in a cool blue and mauve-tinted robe whilst Joseph is dressed in a green-gold robe with mauve shadows in juxtaposition to the warm red of his neighbouring brother. These shades are basically those of the presentation painting and make for a more balanced palette than is seen in the watercolour.


There is an inscription on the reverse of the 16th/17th (?) century frame, in large painted letters. "G" the first letter is clear, but the following letters are indistinct. The "G" could be an initial standing for Giulio and the second letter seems to be a capital "R". As it is not generally the practice to sign the back of a frame with the owner's name, it would indicate that this inscription bears the name of the artist. The last collector to own this painting, believed it to be a work by Gianfrancesco Penni. Coupled with the history of the subject matter, this gave our researchers a valid starting point for investigation into the authorship of the picture. However, after a critical look at the working style of Penni for the period, it was plain that Il Fattore could not be the artist of this vibrant work.<> is how Vasari described Giulio's personality, and it is these same qualities that we see reflected in Joseph Dreams. From Vasari we also learn that the mutual affection and admiration between Giulio and Raphael was so strong that Raphael always made use of Giulio's skills :<> Giulio is known to be Raphael's favourite pupil and is thought to be only 15 years of age when he collaborated with Raphael on the Stanza dell'Incendio. The actual date of Romano's birth is not certain but if it is 1499 as believed, then this would mean he was barely 18 years of age when nominated by Raphael to be in charge of the painting of all.the figures for the loggia.This is certainly true if we even look to the years that concern Joseph Dreams 1517-1519 and see that Giulio was also busy at work on the Villa Farnesina.Whilst scholars largely agree that Giulio was responsible for working out many of the designs for the loggia, his practical involvement in the decoration is much discussed. This is due to the difficulty in isolating one artist's style from another within a work of such scale that was carried out by so many disciples of the one Master. This subject has been bravely tackled in Nicole Dacos' admirable work on the logge. Calculating on the basis of Dr. Dacos' attributions, we find that out of the 52 loggia scenes at least 10 of them were probably painted by Giulio. Vasari says that Giulio painted many scenes in the loggia and mentions four in particular. Passavant wrote that Giulio drew all the cartoons for the loggia, but painted only the first bay to serve as an example for the rest. Crowe and Cavacaselle decide that both Giulio and Penni collaborated on the painting of the frescoes with Giulio being mainly responsible for the designs. According to Dacos, Giulio actually painted frescoes working from drawings by Penni. So the only thing to deduce from all these conflicting opinions is that distinct authorship of the fresco paintings in the loggia will remain a conundrum. Guided by Dacos' findings, which are undoubtedly the most comprehensive, we see that Giulio appears to have worked on at least 8 different bays in the loggia up till Bay IX (see.Table II) ______________________________whereafter he relinquished his role as 'capo' to Perino del Vaga who is largely responsible for the last four bays. To whatever degree Giulio's brush has touched 'Raphael's Bible', as it is popularly known, we can confidentally summarise his involvement as a substantial one. Whilst it is the precocious hand of Giulio that we recognise in the frescoes, the creative genius behind them was Raphael's own. The pupil as 'tool' of the master. It is this intimate working relationship that we believe went into the making of the presentation painting.


In the sixteenth century, highly finished paintings such as this one, were produced as presentation paintings to show to the patron for approval prior to a project being initiated. Once approved, a full scale cartoon could then be derived to enable the execution of the fresco.Frederick Hartt writes: <> "Half the surface" in the case of Joseph Dreams, is not easy to justify, but from the evidence of the x-radiographies, certainly Raphael was substanially involved in the execution of this easel painting. As the subject of this presentation painting is the most important in the loggia, due to its key position, Joseph Dreams is the natural choice to represent the artistic intentions of Raphael's entire project for Leo X's loggia. This is the purpose of a presentation painting for the loggia, to summarise in one work of art, the overall style and format for the 52 scenes envisaged.Scholars are divided between Giulio and Penni as the painter of Joseph Reveals his Dreams to his Brothers in bay VII of the loggia. Some, like Crowe and Cavacaselle have reached a compromise and say it is a collaboration.We believe that the presentation painting shows the fresco to be more in the style of Penni than Giulio. Penni had a more insipid, altogether 'quieter'style than Giulio. Comparison between the fresco and this painting, (which is discussed in Part II paragraph 4.2 of this report) reveals that the same hand is not responsible for the two.So we know that from an early stage, Joseph Dreams and probably it's pendant Joseph Explains the Dreams of Pharaoh, were Romano's responsibility. Even with Penni executing the fresco, as seems likely, the painting evolved under Romano's artistic direction. Perhaps the two artists worked side by side, as Romano is a strong candidate author of the Pharaoh scene in Bay VII.However, it appears most unlikely that a presentation which was meant to be the stylistic paradigm of all the frescoes for the loggia, a major commission from an important patron such as Leo X, would have been left entirely to Romano. Firstly, for reason of artistic pride on the part of the Master who was expected to present a high quality original work to the Pope and secondly, this particular picture with its theme and associated symbolic connotations, was intended by Raphael to flatter his patron.


Vasari writes: <> Raphael had previously pleased the Pope with an ornate wooden model of his architectural design for the loggia. To present a painting for approval of at least one scene destined to appear in the loggia, would be a natural step in the creative process. A monochrome modello sketch on paper, would not have been sufficient to give the Pope a true idea of the splendid decoration Raphael had in mind for Leo Xth's private loggia.The Pope was fascinated by numerology and was well aware of the mystical significance of the number SEVEN. The positioning of the whole cycle is articulated around the central placement of the Joseph tetralogy in the seventh bay. Just as the seventh day of the Creation is the day in which God rested, so is the seventh bay of the loggia the resting point from which to admire the entire loggia. It is the heart of the overall design from which six bays stretch in either direction. Counting either way, one will always arrive at the number seven.It is not the result of mere chance but of a specific intention and concerted planning of Raphael together with the Pope's theologians and cosmologists. There were 52 fresco scenes planned to unfold across the thirteen bays, one scene for each week of the year. The vault themes were underlined with a further 13 related scenes on the basamenti. It was to be the Pope's own private bible, as if the pages of an illuminated book had been enlarged and lifted overhead so that he could walk up and down and contemplate the scriptures at leisure. Delighted with such a project, the Pope would naturally have been eager to see a finished example of the design. This dream-telling scene in the Joseph tetralogy was planned to be situated directly in the place of honour below the papal coat of arms in the central vault of the loggia . It would therefore be the obvious subject choice to offer the Pope as a presentation painting because not only was Joseph somehow seen as the pre-figuration of the life of Christ, but he was also considered an initiator of wealth and an exemplary administrator. A patron such as Leo Xth, would have been well pleased by this central representation surrounding his personal insignia which subtly implied a correlation between his own temporal management of church wealth, and the administrative talents of Joseph.


Romano's first autograph work is thought to be the Portrait of Giovanna of Aragon, Paris, Louvre. Executed in 1518, it is a highly accomplished work for the 19 year old artist. Even allowing for faults in the general lines of the figure and the rigid pose, it is still a very worthy picture that became a very popular image. In the light of recent study, it is now considered a work of collaboration between Raphael and Romano. There are certain passages just too good for Romano to have painted. Whilst undeniably raffaellesque, the Portrait of Giovanna of Aragon should never be mistaken as a work entirely by the master, for the personality of Giulio permeates everything he does and he is never successful as an imitator of Raphael. The blatant artistic voice of Giulio has led scholars to recognize works such as the Madonna della Perla and the Uffizi's San Giovannino as works of collaboration between master and pupil.


<> Genesis (Ch.XXXVII v.5). Joseph Dreams illustrates the scene where the 17 year old son of Jacob and Rachel is confronting his brethren and telling them of his dreams. It should be mentioned that they are all half-brothers of Joseph and all elder, so appear in a different aspect to the gentle and spoilt Joseph who was given a coat of many colours by his indulgent father. The boy is not seen wearing his famous coat but is nevertheless garbed differently to his rugged brothers who mostly appear in simple tunics tied on the shoulder. His hair is worn long and well groomed whereas the other brothers have curly, wild and windswept hair. The brothers' burly physiques thickly grouped within a semicircular position around the small figure of Joseph emphasise the threat of their anger. The setting is that of biblical Canaan where the brothers are tending their flocks. In the earliest engravings, there is a small pebbled stream in the foreground, this feature together with the conspicuous palm tree, suggest the setting to be Raphael's idea of an oasis where shepherds gathered to water their flocks. Joseph's two dreams are represented within circular motifs in the sky. Nichole Dacos has pointed out that the inspiration for these 'dream bubbles' derives from medieval illustration. The left circle illustrates eleven sheaves of wheat bowing down in a field to the one sheaf, this first dream implies that his family were agriculturists. The second dream circle on the right depicts Joseph himself surrounded by the mother moon, the father sun and eleven stars, indicating that they were shepherds as well. The dreams prophesize that Joseph's eleven brothers, ten of whom at first betray him, are later to bow down before Joseph as subjects to a ruler. This comes to pass in the Joseph saga after he successfully interprets the dreams of the Pharaoh in Egypt and achieves power. However in this scene, the first cronologically in the Joseph tetralogy chosen for bay VII,- Joseph is seen as a golden youth, innocent of his power as oneiromancer. In translating a scriptural abstraction into a picturesque that would strongly convey 'a story', Raphael has once again looked to the antique for inspiration. In 1515 Raphael was appointed superintendent general of antiquities of Rome and was able to study the classical statuary and friezes, the archaeological wealth of the city, at his leisure. It was from a Roman sarchophagus relief of the early imperial period depicting the Judgement of Paris, that Raphael drew inspiration for what was to prove, in terms of 16th Century appreciation, one of his most popular pictures. Designing especially for the new medium of engraving, he created his own interpretation of the Judgement of Paris which Vasari described as <>. With this engraving, dated circa 1515, the nucleus of the Joseph composition took form with the figure of the shepherd Paris, seated on a rock with his foot resting on the curl of his crook. This specific position is seen repeated in Joseph Dreams in the brother in a golden robe facing Joseph in the group on the left. The position of the river-god in the Judgement of Paris is echoed in reverse in Joseph Dreams and there is something of the younger god seated at the foot of Minerva recognizable in the brother closest to Joseph in the group on the left who listens intently with his head resting on his right hand. The setting too is similar to that of the Paris engraving, with the hillock to the left, an expanse of water in the background and foliage to the right. However the progression from this work to the design for Joseph Dreams despite all similarities, was not a direct step. The figures in the Paris engraving taken from the Medici sarcophagus, had also been used by Raphael when designing a basemento in grisaille for the Stanza della Segnatura circa 1512. Then in 1517 when Agostino Chigi commissioned Raphael to decorate his loggia at the Villa Farnesina, Raphael drew heavily on the same antique theme for the design of the Council of the Gods. In this ceiling painting, the figure of Hermes can be traced from the central figure of the Medici sarcophagus where the position is almost identical. Similarly, the model for the head of Hermes in the Judgement of Paris reappears as the Hermes of the Council of the Gods. The Farnesina fresco closely compares to that of Joseph Dreams in composition. The large group of Olympian figures to the left of the Council of the Gods is similar in arrangement and involves the same action as the group on the left in Joseph Dreams. In the Farnesina composition, the muscular naked reclining figure rests on the rump of a lion, whereas the recumbent shepherd boy, in the Joseph composition, rests on a sack.A seated central figure leaning on a tree stump, is seen in both groupings and similarly, another figure leans on a staff to the rear. Raphael had seen the success of this compositional formula firstly with the Judgement of Paris engraving so that when called upon to come up with an outstanding design for the central vault of the Pope's loggia, and also for Chigi's entrance loggia, he utilised what he knew appealed best. This reinforces the general opinion that the invention of the design for Joseph Reveals His Dreams to His Brothers, belongs wholly to Raphael.With this example of a three-stage progression welling from the one source of classical inspiration, we can see how the artist evolved a theme from the pagan to the sacred. Berenson, summarised this aspect of Raphael's pictorial language when citing the loggia he succinctly commented, <>


The positioning of the whole cycle is articulated around the central placement of the Joseph tetralogy. It is not the result of mere chance but that of a specific intention and concerted planning of Raphael together with the Pope's theologians. _______________________________

However it is interesting to notice that there is an important error in the biblical theme represented, a detail overseen not only by Raphael and his contemporaries, but by the cognoscenti eversince. During those crucial years of creativity, the Pope had appointed a scholar at the side of Raphael. Writing on the 1st of July 1514 to his uncle, Simone di Batista di Ciarla da Urbino, Raphael explains : <<[the Pope] He has given me as a colleague a very learned frate, of at least eighty years of age, and who has not long to live. His holiness gave me this man of great reputation and great learning for a colleague, that I might profit by him.>>. We also know, as suggested by O.Fischel, that Raphael had close contacts with a group of priests and laymen who called their religious organisation the Oratory of the Divine Love, this around 1517. Furthermore, the cardinal and poet, Egidio da Viterbo 1480-1532 an Augustinian, is believed to have been active in advising both Michelangelo and Raphael in the thematic details of their works in the Vatican. So Raphael could hardly be ignorant of the Holy Scriptures. Indeed, Dr Fabrizio Mancinelli of the Vatican states in a letter to Studio Veritas, <>However, to those familiar with the Bible, one realizes when studying the composition that , there should be only ten brothers present listening to Joseph and not eleven as counted in this composition. Of course, there was an eleventh brother in the bible, Benjamin, who was but an infant at the time. Joseph did not know his younger brother as a man until they were reunited in Egypt twenty-two years later. This moving scene was represented in chiaroscuro on the dado beneath the Joseph tetralogy by Perino del Vaga. Here, the prophetic dreams of Joseph are seen realised as his eleven brothers kneel before him. The central figure is the youngest brother Benjamin, whom the elder and now mostly bearded brothers, offer to Joseph as viceroy of Egypt in the hope that he may be appeased. Hardly anything is left of this work today, but there is a preparatory drawing attributed to Penniand an excellent engraving by Bartoli as record. Benjamin is often portrayed resembling the young Joseph with long fair hair and a gentle demeanour as he is Joseph's only full blood brother. Rachel their mother, died in childbirth delivering Benjamin, the youngest of all Jacob's children. It seems strange that the holy scriptures should be correctly interpreted on the dado base but the main fresco should contain a blatant inconsistency. It is even more astounding to realize that this important error was overlooked not only by Raphael and his contemporaries, but by the cognoscenti eversince. Neither Dacos, nor Davidson in their intensive studies of the loggia pictures have mentioned the scriptural transgression. Passavant, whether from a thorough knowledge of the scriptures or from an oversight has in fact accounted for the correct number of brothers, which actually means he observed incorrectly.The bible states quite specifically <> (Gen.XLII,v.3). Jacob would not allow Benjamin to go with his brothers because he had lost Joseph and could not bear the loss of another favoured son. When Joseph first saw his ten elder brothers, who had once tried to kill him, he sent for Benjamin and employed trickery to keep the boy with him. The scriptures make great distinction between Benjamin and the other ten brothers. <> (Gen.XLVI, v.22) Joseph favoured Benjamin above the others in all matters, partly because the boy was his true brother and partly because Benjamin had been totally innocent of the injustice done to Joseph by the others. Joseph held no shred of resentement toward Benjamin unlike that he first felt toward his brothers when he accused them of being spies in Egypt and imprisoned them. Benjamin had not been present at the dream-telling and had not been present when the band of half-brothers placed Joseph in the pit. The correct number of ten brothers appears in the drawing in the Uffizi of Joseph forced into the Well.It appears that as in the tapestry cartoons, Raphael has opted for a symbolic interpretation of the bible rather than a strictly scholarly approach. The error of the extra brother, is anecdotically interesting to notice, but it does not in anyway diminish the artistic value of the composition.As the beholder is obliged to justify this particular error on grounds of artistic licence, we must also allow that for the sake of his personal artistic preference, Raphael has set the scene by the river Jordan or lake Gennesaret whereas in the scriptures, the settlement of Jacob and his children was within the barren environs of Gedor near Hebron. Raphael seemed to have had a predilection for this kind of background landscaping where an expanse of water can be seen. If we are to look closely at the oeuvre of Raphael, there are other similar scriptural errors and in works commissoned by the papacy. Case in point is the tapestry cartoon of "Feed my Sheep" or (Christ giving the Keys to Peter) where the wrong number of disciples are pictured grouped in awe before the risen Christ. The scriptures state quite clearly that only seven disciples were present, not the eleven figures that appear in the tapestry cartoon. Unlike the easily missed error of an eleventh head in the background of Joseph Dreams, the textual accuracy of Feed My Sheep suffers a large scale discrepancy and it can only be that Raphael has again opted for the poetical, rather than the scholarly approach to the Bible.______________________________


1 see discussion paragraph 2.12 The Albertina drawing is mentioned by Passavant, J.-D., Raphael d'Urbin et son pere Giovanni Santi, 1839, (Edition 1860, Paris) II.p.178 who attributes its execution to Raphael. Crowe & Cavalcaselle, Raphael, London 1885, Vol.II, p.514, attribute the sheet jointly to Giulio Romano and Polidoro da Caravaggio, mentioning that it came from the collection of the Duke of Ursel. N. Dacos dismisses the drawing as a copy after a lost modello by Penni. For a complete listing of refs. see N.Dacos, Le Logge di Raffaello, 1986, p. 178.

3 Passavant, 1860, II, p. 178 describes the Lawrence drawing as <>. see also Passavant p.534 (g), where he lists this drawing as being in the collection of Guillaume II King of Holland, Prince of Orange. The drawing was purchased by the King from the London dealers Woodburn Bros. in 1838 one of some 120 drawings from the Sir Thomas Lawrence collection attributed to Raphael, several of which are identified as original sketches for the Vatican loggia. The drawing was sold at la Haye, August 1850, in the sale of the collection of the deceased King Guillaume II. Judging from its' solid provenance, its obvious quality and the fact that it was included in a collection with other authentic studies for the vatican loggia, the Lawrence drawing would seem to have a strong case for attribution to the bottega of Raphael.

4 Anderson Galleries, New York 6-7 November, 1924 lot no. 252. Cat. entry reads as follows : Original drawing for the painting in the Loggias of the Vatican. While the painting in the Loggias, owing to exposure and decay, has been entirely painted over and shows no traces of the Master's hand, this drawing shows all his characteristic qualities. We know a number of Raphael drawings in the same medium (rehausse au lavis rose), and the authorities to whom this was submitted (I mention especially Dr. Di Pietro, former curator of the drawings at Uffizi and probably the best connoisseur of Italian drawings) agree that this is an unquestionably authentic work by Raphael. Pen, bistre, pink water colour, with traces of white high-lights. Height, 8.75 inches; width, 10 inches. From the Sir Thomas Lawrence Collection.

5 Details: slightly colored in red crayon, size 47/8 inches x 71/2 inches. This drawing has not been mentioned by logge scholars. A photograph of it exists in the Witt Library, London, and includes an amusing anonymous exhibition catalogue entry. This drawing has included the landscape and is more finished in detail which deprives it of any creative impetus and renders it a definite copy after the fresco. It could even be considered an attempt to concoct a "preparatory sketch".

6 Both drawings in the Albertina, Vienna. For a complete list of attributions for the loggia scenes see this report, Part II, p......

7 see the British Museum's Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century, Turner, Nicholas, BM Publications London,1986, p. 40.

8 For discussion on this and another drawing by Raphael derived from Michelangelo's David, see ibid. pp. 38-40.

9 See Joannides, 1983, p.154, cat.no.89.

10 See Joannides p. 178, cat.n.184. Two nude men and a lamb, Bayonne, Musee Bonnat 1706. Raphael has obviously taken the pose of the left-hand figure from his study of Michelangelo's David, British Museum, see note 5 above and Joannides p.156 cat.n.97.

11 Continence of Scipio, Musee du Louvre, Paris. Modello for a tapestry. Attributed to Giulio Romano by Morel d'Arleux, Conservateur 1797-1827. Inventaire manuscrit des dessins du Cabinet des Dessins du Louvre, inv.no. 1924.

12 Crowe and Cavacaselle, Raphael, London 1885, vol.II, p.140. <>

13 <> from Bartsch 1867 Vol. 15, p. 10. no. 5.

14 <<...e finalmente (furono messe in stampa da Marcantonio) molte storie che Raffaello aveva disegnate per il corridore e loggie di Palazzo, le quali sono state poi rintagliate da Tommaso Barlacchi, insieme con le storie de' panni che Raffaello fece pel concistori pubblico>>. Golzio, Vincenzo, Nei Documenti Nelle Testimonianze dei Contemporanei e nella letteratura del SVO Secolo, Citta Del Vaticano 1936 p. 247.

15 Bartsch Ouevre de Maitre au De/ Vol.p. 185 No.1, <> see also (Ill.Ba.) p.158 vol.29, (184), 207 x 282.1 (London).

16 Uffizi, no. Uff 527 E Sopr. 111440.

17 Passavant, p.417. <> see also Crowe and Cavalcaselle, p.530.

18 The Cup of Joseph found in the sack of Benjamin, see Passavant, 1860, Vol. II, p. 474 (g). There are differences between the drawing and the engraving. Passavant suggests that the drawing is in the style of Perino del Vaga but that Bonasone's engraving could be taken from an original sketch by Raphael. The drawing is in the Musee du Louvre, inv.3851. The engraving by Bonasone: Bartsch, 1813, XV, p.113, no.6.

19 J-P Cuzin, Raphael His Life and His Works, New Jersey, 1985, p.215.

20 Raphael's original source for The Judgement of Paris arose from a Medicean antique bas-relief. This has been widely discussed by Raphael scholars, see Crowe and Cavacaselle, pp. 311-313 and G. Becatti, Raffaello e l'Antico in Raffaello, ed. M. Salmi, Novara 1968, II, p. 660. For further comparison between joseph Dreams and Paris see this report, section 5.2.

21 Catalogue des estampes gravees d'apres Rafael par TAURISCUS EUBOEUS 1819 Francfort, p. 78 III Bible - Ancien Testament. <>

22 Codex min. 33. see Albendlandische Buchmalerei, Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek, 60, no. 156. 23 B. Davidson, Raphael's Bible, a Study of the Vatican Logge, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1985.

24 We must allow for error with the artist of the watercolours, as Bernice Davidson found when studying the codex, The artist of the Vienna codex who copied the vault of the first bay became confused; he transposed the scenes of God separating the Earth from Water and the Creation of the Animals. B. Davidson, Ibid., pp. 48-49n.

25 The inscription, faint but discernible, was discovered under a watersoluble ochre paint that was painted over the back of the frame.

26 <> Vasari, Vita di Giulio Romano, ed. Giuntina, 1568, (ed.Milano 1964, p. 263.)

27 Vasari, 1568, ibid.

28 <>; Vasari,....III, p.205.

29 Vasari lists The Creation of Adam and Eve, Noah Building the Arc, The Sacrifice of Noah and The Finding of Moses in the Waters.(III, p.264, ed. Milano, 1964).

30 Passavant, II, p.167.

31 see Vault I, Dio separa la luce dalle tenebre, Vault VI, Sogno di Giacobbe, Vault IX, Adorazione del vitello d'oro, etc. Dacos, see Tavole IX, XXV, XXXVI.

32 F. Hartt, History of Italian Renaissance Art, London [1987], p.518

33 For discussion on the symbolism of the seventh loggia see Bernice Davidson p. 72-75. and this report Part II, Section....

34 'Perche volendo Papa Leone mostrare la grandezza della magnificenza, e generosita sua, Rafaello fece i disegni degli ornamenti degli stucchi, e delle storie, che vi si dipintero,' Vasari, Firenze 1771. p. 204

35 G.Vasari, Lives of the Artists, Vol 1. [Penguin Classics, London 1987 ed.] p.311.

36 See B. Davidson, 1985, p.73-74.

37 Madonna della Perla, ca. 1520, Madrid, Prado.

38 see N. Dacos, 1986, pp.73-76, ill. fig.16.

39 Genesis XXXVII:740 Ibid., 9-10

41 see Becatti, Raffaello e l'antico, 1968, p.509, fig. 26 & p.510, fig.27.

42 G. Vasari, V,p.411 (Golzio, p.245).

43 <>, Dacos,...... With this, N. Dacos demonstrates in part, how Raphael was inspired by the antique for the figures and compositional elements of Joseph Reveals His Dreams to His Brothers.

44 see L. Bianchi, La Fortuna di Raffaello nella incisione, 1968, pp.647-690.

45 The fresco, The Council of the Gods, features in the Loggia di Psiche, Villa della Farnesina, Rome and is a creation of Raphael with the greater part of the practical execution being ascribed to both Giulio Romano and Penni. The Farnesina was completed in December 1518, but work had probably commenced in 1517, the same year as work commenced on the decoration of Leo X's private loggia. As both projects would have had their designs made up prior to work commencing, it is therefore impossible to say which composition, Joseph Dreams or The Council of the Gods, precedes the other. Rather, the basic similarities in both compositions reflect the tight working schedule of Raphael and his bottega where for economy of time, it was necessary to adapt the same designs to both sacred and profane subjects.

46 B. Berenson, Italian Painters of the Renaissance,London, 1952, p.129

47 The letter is not preserved in the original, the text is from Nel Centenario di Raffaello da Urbino, Roman 1883. Author's source, V. Wanscher, Raffaello Santi da Urbino, His Life and Works, London 1926, p. 145.

48 O. Fischel, Raphael, (translated by Bernard Rackham), London 1948, p.317.

49 Musee de Beaux Arts, Dijon

50 Passavant, 1839, p.178, no.145, <> His error is in observing 7 figures to the left when in reality there are 8 brothers. This could be due to the dark, badly executed head which is obscured by the shade of the hillock behind the group both in the easel painting and in the fresco. This is on the assumption that Passavant recorded his observations firsthand when visiting the loggia. Otherwise, referring to any one of the many engravings after the subject, Passavant should have clearly seen 8 brothers in that group.

51 See The Dream of the Young Scipio : National Gallery/ La Belle Jardiniere: Louvre/ St. Catherine: Nat. Gall. London/ Les Trois Graces: Chantilly/ The Madonna of Alba: Washington, etc...

52 St.John, Ch.XXI.



Dr Nicholas Eastaugh was in charge of the technical investigation conducted over a period of six months in 1990 incorporating X-ray, infra-red reflectography, pigment analysis and canvas identification. His findings to date confirm that the painting is contemporary with the activity and geographic origins of Raphael. In summary Studio Veritas has established :i) That the canvas support is of a type used by Raphael and studio.ii) That the high quality pigments used are consistent with those found in other Raphael paintings.iii) That mixed media has been used: both tempera and oils, reflecting the trend in technique c.1517.iv) That the undermodelling is most probably by a hand other than the executor of the painting.v) That the chromatic modelling is representative of Giulio Romano's technique.

DISCUSSION: It is our opinion, that Giulio in this instance, assisted Raphael, painting with him over the master's underdrawing, which, because of its specific colouring and of the relatively thick layer of paint, cannot be detected unless means which would greatly endanger the painting were employed.When this painting underwent infra-red reflectography, no definite underdrawing could be observed. This shows that, like numerous other cases, the underdrawing was made with a material which does not absorb infra-red light, such as lapis rosso, umber, sepia ink or simply white chalk. Raphael's graphic work employed a wide variety of techniques including the common use of these materials. To best illustrate this, lets listen to what Hacquin had to say after he had, in 1767, transferred onto canvas the Holy Family of the Louvre, then in the possession of the Marquis of Pimodan : <>This "double outline" appears in Joseph Dreams in several places such as the profile of the reclining figure as discussed in Part I section 1.1. of this report. The painting was found framed in a simple gilt wooden period frame : 950mm x 1145mm x (80mm wide). The reverse of the frame was painted with an ochre water soluble paint which after removal, showed an old inscription [G R.....] The frame seems to have been altered in dimensions at an earlier date and is unevenly planed on the reverse. There is a numerical mark reading [...2], probably an old stock number. The gilding was flaking and chipped and the lower part of the frame had warped.The condition of the painting was generally good and while there were no major structural problems apparent, there were a few minute losses to the paint film as well as cupping resulting in an uneven surface. Further, there were discoloured retouchings and traces of old varnish in many areas causing additional disfigurement; a filler material had been applied around the edges. These problems were later corrected by an excellent restoration undertaken in London at the studio of Mr. Robert Shepherd, former restorer at the National Gallery and now in private practice.The support is of hemp canvas initially attached to a fixed stretcher. Following the cleaning, the picture was prepared for lining with a suitable facing at the studio of Mr Peter Newman in London. The old lining canvas which appeared to be Italian of the early 19th century, was detached and residual glue removed. The painting was then lined onto new canvas using an aqueous adhesive and stretched onto a new keyed stretcher. The period when Joseph Dreams was painted was a period of transition whereupon artists were changing from panel support to canvas. This evolution started in Venice and spread from the North down through Italy. Raphael [and studio] most often used panel support but a notable percentage of Raphael's documented oeuvre is painted originally on canvas. These canvas paintings constitute a substantial portion of Raphael's total output, excluding frescoes, for his Roman period 1507-1520. The canvas support of Joseph Dreams is of similar measurements to the canvas used for the Portrait of Andrea Navagero and Agostino Beazzano i.e. cut from a bolt of hemp with a similar width.More revealing was the discovery during re-lining, that the canvas proved of equal weft and quality to the canvas used for the Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione. The ground consists of a gesso layer of gypsum, bound in a protein-based adhesive, probably animal glue which is as we would expect in an Italian painting of the period.It is interesting to observe that Joseph Dreams, painted at a period of transition from egg tempera to oil, employs a mixed technique involving both mediums. This is partly explained by the fact that the painting conceived as a kind of 'modello' for the entire program of the vault scenes, was most likely required to be executed on short demand in order to show the pope prior to the loggia project getting underway. The paint would therefore be required to dry quickly instead of over a period of months or longer as with some pictures painted entirely in oils. Other instances where Raphael employed mixed media are evident, as with The Madonna of the Meadow, Vienna and the St. John the Baptist Preaching, National Gallery London.

Analysis indicated that no pigments were found which it would have been impossible for Raphael or Romano to have used. Thus we find rare and expensive natural ultramarine, lead tin yellow, vermilion, yellow ochre, terre vert, bone or ivory black. The particle size of the pigments was generally fine. The identification of the natural ultramarine is of particular importance because of the nature of the pigment particles. Microscopically these appear to be extremely small for the pigment, which was prepared from the mineral lapis lazuli by grinding and a complex process of separation. A similarly fine natural ultramarine has been found on a painting by Perugino. It was a very costly pigment, dearer than gold, and only the most prestigious artists could afford to paint with it.Perugino was the master of Raphael and it is rational that the pupil would adopt his master's techniques and sources of material as reciprocally, Romano was to adopt the traditions of his master. The generous application of this rare form of ultramarine led Dr Eastaugh to conclude, <> (see Part III).

It is instructive to compare the pigments existent in the presentation painting with those of another "preparatory work" in colour that was executed around the same period and with the prominent assistance of Giulio Romano. The Vatican tapestry cartoons were preparatory for another decorative project close to Leo X's heart, to cover the walls of the Sistine Chapel. The tapestries were one of the first artistic improvements commissioned by Leo after he was elected Pope. The biblical narratives portrayed in the tapestries although taken solely from the New Testament, are similar in format tand feeling to many of the loggia scenes as we see in particular when comparing Joseph Dreams and Christ's Charge to Peter which incidentally is one of the two major cartoons for which samples were taken for pigment analysis by the V & A in 1965-66. _____________________________

Natural ultramarine has been found in : The Dream of the Young Scipio ( few scattered particles of natural ultramarine). The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary Saints and Angels ( Ultramarine is confined to the bluest touches of the distant landscape ). The Aldobrandini Madonna or the Garvagh Madonna ( both the blue of the cloak and that of the underdress are based on very high quality natural ultramarine brightened and lightened with the addition of a little lead white. Saint John the Baptist Preaching ( ultramarine was present in one sample only ). La belle Jardiniere ( Le Lapiz-Lazuli est pur, superpose a une couche d'azurite ). La Grande Sainte Famille ( la couche de laque rouge et de blanc de plomb est travaille puis recouverte d'une couche de lapiz-lazuli dont les effets sont exaltes par la couche sous jacante ). La Madone au Voile [Penni] ( le lapis-lazuli est pose sur une sous couche rose carmin ). La Grande Sainte famille ( les marbrures bleus du pavement sont faites d'une mince couche de Lapis-lazuli pose sur fond beige ). Madonna in the Meadow ( the topmost layer is composed of a thin final glaze of genuine ultramarine ). The Canigiani Holy Family ( it appears that the ultramarine present in the topmost layer, over thick azurite underpaint has undergone partial discoloration ). Santa Cecilia ( blue top layer formed by two imperfectly divided sublayers, the lower one containing azurite and the upper one ultramarine). The Transfiguration ( a relatively thick layer of ultramarine alone, mixed with lead-white..). The Madonna di Foligno ( shows a thiner ultramarine ).

Table I Pigment Comparisons : (Not yet available on this site)


1515 /c. 1517/18

lead-white/ lead-white

carbon black/ bone or ivory black

yellow, red and brown, /yellow ochre, red ochre(earth colours - iron oxide,)

azurite /natural ultramarine

malachite /terre vert

lead tin yellow Type I /lead tin yellow Type I

red lead gamboge (vegetable)vermilion/ vermilion

red lake, pink lake/ red lake (vegetable) 

From the above table, we can see that although there is a basic palette of nine pigments in both works, Raphael has used less costly substitutes for colours in the cartoons, whereas for the easel painting, he has made use of the best pigments then available : Cartoons Joseph Dreams

Joyce Plesters :<>If the presentation painting of Joseph Dreams had been conceived merely as a working example for Romano or Penni to use when painting Bay VII, the same kind of oridnary pigments as used for the cartoons would have been empoloyed. That the pigments used are superior to those used for the cartoons, confirms that Joseph Dreams was conceived as a high quality easel painting to exemplify the ambitions of the entire decoration of the loggia. Of outstanding interest is the discovery of the presence of a black-painted edge to the picture which is original and similar to the black edge found also after cleaning in the Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione. Professor John Shearman sees this feature as an early sixteenth century device for separating frame from painting, providing a clever fill-in for the space between wood and canvas. This feature also reaffirms that the picture is of its original dimensions

Scientific evidence, which confirmed the proposed dating for Joseph Dreams, combined with the visual examination reveals that the painting procedure of this canvas is consistent with Raphael's late period, when he had adopted a style where <>



1 Dr Nicholas Eastaugh Ph.D.Dip.Cons.Courtauld Institute; B.Sc. and now in private practice in London specialises in pigment analysis and has considerable experience in the scientific examination of paintings. A comprehensive report of Dr Eastaugh's findings is available upon request from Studio Veritas.

2 eg. See portrait Pope Julius II, National Gallery London, <>J. Plesters, The Princeton Raphael Symposium Science in the service of Art History, Edited by J. Shearman and M.B. Hall, New Jersey, 1990, p.30.

3 See drawings for The Battle of Ostia: Albertina/Villa Farnesina : Louvre/Chigi Chapel : Ashmolean Mus. & British Mus./Madonna Alba : Musee Wicar (Lille)/Madonna and Child with the Infant St.John (for the painting known as Madonna of the Belvedere, Vienna) : Metropolitan NY

4 We reproduce in the original Hacquin's own statement: <> Felix Lavery, Raphael, London [1922], p.70.

5 Analysis indicated that the warp and weft fibres were of hemp woven into a plain or tabby weave canvas. For Italian paintings of this period we would expect hemp rather than linen or flax.

6 see Studio Veritas' technical report.

7 Raphael, Portrait of Andrea Navagero and Agostino Beazzano, 76 x 107cm, Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome as compared to 74 x 97.3cm for Joseph Dreams.

8 This has been investigated further and confirmed on the basis of a communication from Madame Lola Faillant-Dumas, head of the research laboratory of the Louvre.

9 for Madonna of the Meadows see Wolfgang Prohaska, Princeton Raphael Symposium, 1990, p.62., for St. John the Baptist Preaching see Joyce Plesters, Princeton Raphael Symposium, 1990, p.36. and Allan Braham & Martin Wyld, National Gallery Technical Bulletin, v.8, 1984,p.23.

10 The Virgin and Child with St. John: National Gallery London, No. 181

11Source : The Princeton Raphael Symposium, op.cit. at note 2.

12 J. Plesters, ibid., p.112.

13 J. Plesters, ibid., p.115.

14 Shearman, ibid., p.12. 



The Vatican loggia was originally a creation of Bramante but was modified and completed by Raphael after Bramante's death in 1514. It is situated on the second floor of Nicholas III's palace, adjacent to the papal apartments and overlooking the Court of St Damasius. In a letter written on the 19th of July 1517, Bembo informs Cardinal Bibbiena that the building of the Loggie is in progress.The Vatican records two payments for flooring to Lucca della Robbia, in 1518 and mention is made of a present of 25 ducats made on the 11th of June, 1519, <>.Baldassare Castiglione wrote to Isabella Gonzaga from Rome on the 16th of June, 1519, <>Work on the loggia, was completed circa 1518-1519 but the point of attribution with each of the loggia frescoes has never been totally resolved due to the close collaboration of so many artists in Raphael's bottega. The theme chosen for this central narrative cycle, episodes from the life of Joseph, was popular in the Renaissance. Ghiberti had featured the same theme in a panel on his magnificent Gates of Paradise for the Baptistery in Florence circa 1435, Benozzo Gozzoli had painted his Joseph cycle in fresco for the Duomo at Pisa, del Sarto and Granacci painted four pictures relating the life of Joseph in Florence in 1515 and Pontormo painted a radical version of the story in the same year that the loggia was being completed.


Leo X was passionate for astrology and numerology. They were concepts that he embraced as an integral part of his religious belief. The pursuit of esoteric studies was not unusual for a learned man of the period, as Janet Cox-Rearick explains: <>Given the degree to which Leo X was fascinated by numerology and astrology, it is valid to examine the cosmological symbolism of the Joseph cycle and its positioning in Bay VII.


The patriachal figure of Joseph was seen as a prefiguration of Christ. The placing of Joseph in the pit, his suffering and subsequent re-emergence leading to eventual glory were paralleled to the crucifixion, entombment and resurrection of Christ. It is interesting to note that out of the four chosen scenes to illustrate the saga of Joseph, which was heavy with fabulous episodes, two of the scenes deal with the interpretation of dreams. Encompassed in cosmic spheres, the symbolic imagery announces Joseph's predestined rule over his people and over Egypt. This is intended to allude to Leo X's own predestined Papal rule. When still a child Ficino predicted that the then Giovanni de'Medici would become pope. In Zaccaria Ferreri's panegyric, Lugdunense somnium, which celebrates Leo's election, there are numerous heroic, visionary and astrological references that could be linked to the Leo-Joseph correlation. In the lines :<>Leo sleeps and dreams deeply of images hovering over him just as the dream bubbles hover over Joseph. and<> can be equated with the virtuous Joseph forgiving the evils of his brethren or "curing the ills" and the reference to Leo turning the iron age into a golden age, is Joseph turning the threat of years of drought and suffering into years of plenty and prosperity. "He will soften the hearts of ferocious men" refers to the humbling of Joseph's wild sheepherding brethren when they realize the brother they tried to murder is now their master and with a noble heart, has forgiven them. "Ambrosia and nectar he will pour upon the world" connects to Joseph not only feeding the multitude of Egypt and trading countries via his astute administration of resources but to the spiritual guidance that he offered his people by way of good example. On his deathbed Jacob blesses his son saying : <> (Gen.XLIX, 22.) The fruitful bough and the well are metaphors for the food and water Joseph supplied to the drought-striken masses and to the cerebral sustenance he provided as spiritual leader. Jacob chooses Joseph to carry on the progenital role as head of Israel and prophesises that the branches of his line, shall multiply and spread out over the land. Jacob names Joseph as "the shepherd, the stone of Israel" (Gen.XLIX, 24.) meaning that he is shepherd over the people as the pope is God's shepherd on earth. A laudatory verse explaining the Leonine significance of the number eleven has the lines :<>translates as <> This description of Leo's expulsion as a Medici from Florence and triumphant return, is a strong biographical link to the life of Joseph. Sold into slavery, Joseph was taken away from his fatherland to dwell among foreigners, but destined for grander things, he was able through his wisdom, strength and oneiromantic gifts to break the bonds of slavery. It also alludes to Joseph's return to the "native dwelling" of the family clan and to his final resting place in the cave of Machpelah in his homeland of Canaan.When Joseph's brothers exalt him as master and great leader, the fearful Judah addresses Joseph thus :<> Joseph's prophecy had come true, his brethren bowed down before him and acknowledged him as their respected lord just as Florence was obliged to pay obeisance to the Medici and recognise them as their temporal rulers and Leo as their spiritual leader. Leo's triumphant return to Florence in 1515 as Pope after the Medici had been restored to power in that city, was celebrated in the arts.Joseph as governor of his people is emphasised in the dado composition of Joseph Recognised by his Brothers with Joseph in a position of elevated command, his eleven brothers kneeling before him as subjects before a ruler.


Bernice Davidson explores the symbolic nature of the logge program and arrives at the conclusion that <> She goes on to discuss the importance in the program of the messianic line from Adam to Christ and the way in which the cast of Old Testament heroes, all prefigure Christ. Studio Veritas sees the emphasis on these patriachal figures to be bound up intrinsically with Leo X's own megalomaniacal tendencies. This messianic family tree is a metaphor for the Medicean dynasty. These figures are not only the ancestors of Christ, they are Leo X's ancestors as well. Leo recognises himself in each leading figure in the program and as the coming of Christ is foreseen in each of these biblical figures so too the logge carries the promise of Leo's predestined papacy. Leo's interest in numerology is also a key factor in the design of the logge and the present author would like to add a few theories to Miss Davidson's excellent and near-exhaustive work on the subject.Both the Old and the New Testaments contain numerous instances of the use of numerological symbols in the form of parable and allegory. Because every number has a dual meaning, hidden messages are discernible to practised readers like Leo X, who understood the number codes employed from biblical times. Raphael's Bible shows the story of humanity and its generations, of its degeneration and of its regeneration through Christ and the resurrection in the 13th bay. The resurrection is the very last of the 64 scenes (including the basamenti) depicted in the logge. Why the switch to the New Testament in the 13th bay? The theological theme of dispensation could very well have continued with the figure of Daniel as the subject of the 13th bay, another Jewish exile with, like Joseph, oneiromantic skills. But doing this, would not have allowed for a conclusion to the program. The 13th bay had to be the endpoint of the preceeding narrative and a fresh starting point for a new reflection. There were twelve apostles, but Jesus, the Christ, made a thirteenth member at the last supper, a scene that appears in the 13th bay of the logge. There were twelve tribes of Israel and when Jacob gave his blessing to his twelve sons, he was referring not only to twelve individuals, but to the development of twelve attributes to be awakened in the human soul. Each, as a reflection of God, is equally important. These in turn, paralleled the twelve characteristics of the twelve signs of the zodiac (Genesis 49:1-28). Numerologists believe that these twelve signs and their corresponding numbers are operative in the lives of every individual, for each person indeed is a miniature universe. Thus the vibrational force under the number of 12 belongs to the developed soul who has accumulated unusual inner strength through many and varied experiences, such as Leo X had undergone. 12 is the number of solar months in the year, but 13 is the number of lunar months. Traditionally, 13 means either death through degeneration or life and attainment through regeneration. <> (Moses, Deut:30:16). The scenes Raphael, the Pope, his cosmologists and his theologians agreed upon for the 13th bay explore the theme of 13 as number of death and re-birth. This theme of renewal connects to that of the Medici Return and Renewal of power.In numerology, the number 12 indicates a complete cycle, a whole, a circle as exemplified by the 12 months, the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 disciples. The next step, 13, introduces a new level of consciousness. Bay 13 of the loggia is a synthesis of this numerological philosophy and theologic imagery, a work of art that a man who is both Pope and amateur cosmologist could truly appreciate.


There are no reasons to doubt that as Vasari indicated, Raphael was responsible for the conception of all biblical scenes in the loggia. Each one encapsulates a story, each bay of four paintings follows a specific theme, the thirteenth bay celebrates the New Testament with the birth of Christ. <>, Vasari observed. The entire masterpiece of Leo X's loggia has evolved from a process of deep and intimate thought. It makes practical sense that one mind should be held responsible for the invention of the pictures in the loggia as an unfolding and harmonious narrative rather than many minds and many different imaginations patching together a mosaic of fifty-two scenes. Surely if the latter had been the case, the loggia could not exist as a unified work of art.The pensieri for the loggia bear the creative stamp of Raphael. His hand can be recognised through certain idiosyncracies of style and the qualitative level of this painting. The composition can be compared to the cartoon in the V&A museum for the tapestry Christ's Charge to Peter. Here, we see Christ as the prominent figure in a similar attitude to that of Joseph, with the finger pointing downward, an attentive audience grouped around him. Most remarkable is the identically painted flock of sheep which have been placed in the same position in both Joseph Dreams and the V&A tapestry. Overall, one must note the parallel chromatic scale which prevails in both compositions.Judging from a stylistic point of view, one can recognize Raphael's touch in the attractive and elegant model used for Joseph in this painting Joseph Dreams. Instances of this ideal model recurring in different attitudes are numerous throughout Raphael's oeuvre.The personage of St. John as represented in the V&A Cartoons is perhaps the closest model to Joseph in physical representation, particularly as he appears in the cartoon for The Death of Ananias. The model for Joseph is representative of a 'certain idea' of classical beauty. It is the young male ideal of Raphael's aesthetic concept, just as the female ideal was expressed with his Galatea in the Farnesina. The graceful contrapposto stance of Joseph harks back to the Peruginesque period of Raphael and is reminiscent of the St. John in Perugino's fresco painting Jesus Handing the Keys to St. Peter in the Sistine Chapel, a figure which Raphael sketched as a young pupil. Further parallels can be drawn between the figure-type of Joseph and works of Raphael's first period of activity such as his St. Apollonia and the figure of St. John in St. John the Baptist Preaching. Noticeable, is also the position of Joseph's right hand resting on his chest, the middle finger touching the left arm. It is a reminder of the hand position of the St. Catherine of the National Gallery London, of the hand of St.Sixtus in the Sistine Madonna, of Psyche's hand in Venus and Psyche at the Villa Farnesina and that of the Donna Velata in the Pitti.Another of the master's traits is evident in the fluid plastic quality of the arm of the tall figure resting on a staff, which can be compared to the rendering of the naked arm of St. John as seen in the Madonna of Foligno, Vatican, to take but one example. The positioning of Joseph central to the composition in decoro is also typical. Raphael, emulating his mentor Perugino, generally centred the main subject of his paintings and here, the figure of Joseph and the palm tree extending in a vertical line behind him, divides the composition into two planes. The remarkable concept of representing the dreams of Joseph in the two suspended "dream bubbles" was probably inspired from an earlier woodcut of pharaoh's dreams to be found in the Bibbia di Lubecca. Based on an evident difference between easel painting and fresco, is another factor of creativity not reproduced in the fresco which confirms that Raphael's own hand played a part in the creation of this painting. It shows the treatment of the blonde hair of the young man reclining in the foreground, which is blown forward by a wind since he is not sheltered by the cave as the others and is more exposed. This feature reoccurs throughout works of Raphael's Roman period notably where outdoor action is taking place as in The Miraculous Draught of Fishes cartoon and the Galatea of the Farnesina.Here, Raphael takes into consideration what very few painters of this period do; he animates a scene with air, wind, effectively suggested by the motion of hair. In creating movement he dramatizes the ambience of the narrative scene. The mere ruffling of hair creates movement within an otherwise static scene. This was one invention that Giulio was not to adopt in his own works, preferring more vigorous scenes with thick ropey heads of hair bunched in fat curls or flying wildly like wriggling serpents. The subtlety of Raphael's gentle breeze flowing through a picture was lost on Giulio. Another idiosyncracy of Raphael's style appears with the rather elongated eyes of the personages in Joseph Dreams. An interesting comment by Lanzi explores this:<>If these comments of connoisseurship hold true, then we can only suppose that the young Giulio was trying to emulate his Master's tendency to elongate the eye, thus we have this rather exaggerated elongation further dramatised by Giulio's own predilection for dark shading. For it is true that in later paintings when his personal style became more pronounced, Giulio's eyes are quite round in form, sometimes even bulbous. That this painting was not done by Giulio some time after the loggia was completed is evidenced by the style and quality of the work. There is a certain youthful crudeness, a marked hastiness, that belongs to the teenage Giulio and not to a man who had matured through the tragic loss of his master and the responsibility that was thrust upon him as Raphael's heir and succeeding head of the workshop. This maturity shows through in works after Raphael's death such as the sobre Christ in Glory with Four Saints and the charming Madonna della Quercia which in itself, seems a painstaking attempt to pay tribute to the teaching of his great master.


Easel paintings by Guilio are rare, his talents having been more in demand as a decorator on the grand scale. Post-Raphael, it is from the executed frescoes and studies for decorative projects, rather than the few existing easel paintings that we can draw stylistic parallels with Joseph Dreams. In the Vatican's Sala di Constantino we can identify the particular masculine physiognomies of the brothers in those of the soldiers in the Continence of Scipio and The Cross Appearing to Constantine 1520-21. Here, his hyper-expressive tendencies emerge, which are to extend to the realm of caricature in later works. Giulio is undoubtedly best known for his work in Mantua at the Palazzo Te. Although his style here is diametrically opposed to the grace and good taste of his master, Giulio cannot help but borrow time and time again, Raphael's inventions. The head of the recumbent shepherd in Joseph Dreams which originated with the avenging angel from Heliodorus (see paragraph...) resurfaces as Venus in the Banquet scene of the Sala di Psiche in the Palazzo Te and also as a female river divinity to the left in the very same scene.The effeminate head of Joseph, seen in profile with his precious features and long golden curls, has its descendants in the head of a nymph next to a satyr at the table of the banquet scene, Il banchetto rustico and in the head of Paris (?) seated to the left in Il banchetto nobile.The enlarged ear lobes, turgid foreheads, parted lips and long straight noses of the brothers in Joseph Dreams are given greater emphasis in the roman soldiers of the Camera dell'Imperatore and also in the scenes of the sala di Troia at Mantua's Palazzo Ducale, such as Laocoon and his sons 1536-40.When Joseph Dreams was being cleaned a slight but significant error was brought to our attention by the conservationist, an error only an inexperienced and hasty young artist could have overlooked on such an important painting. The large toe on the right foot of the reclining figure is placed incorrectly on the outer side. This error must have existed in the original lost modello as it is also evident in the Albertina drawing which would lead one to think that perhaps Giulio too, was responsible for the modello, probably working up an idea by Raphael. The present unstable attribution for the lost modello is given to Penni. Although too cluttered to be wholly faithful to any design by Raphael, there is a good deal of influence from the master around the head of the Madonna and certain passages of the drapery which points to this being a painting perhaps commissioned from Raphael and which Giulio may well have started work on before his master's death.36 In fact, the head of Venus in Palazzo Te is a blatant borrow from that of the Apollo in The Banquet of the Gods, Farnesina. Both are closely linked to the head of the recumbent shepherd in Joseph Dreams.In the two early engravings done by Marcantonio and Beatrizet, the toe is correctly placed which coincides with the theory that these engravings were done after other designs that were rejected by Raphael for the final version of Joseph Dreams. After Beatrizet's engraving of 1541, the toe reappears on the wrong side of the foot, as in Lanfranco (1607), Chapron (1649), etc. It is strange indeed that a perfectionist like Chapron, who was the first to idealize the loggia designs to classical perfection, should carefully incise such an inaccuracy on his plate. As these engravings were done after the fresco and not after lost preparatory designs, it would appear that the fresco also originally shared in the error of the big toe. The fact that it was later corrected, points to the restoration attempt of Carol Maratta at the beginning of the 18th century for after this date, as in the splendid engraving executed by Volpato (1782), we see a strangely shaped foot, destined to be the left instead of the right foot with a small toe added onto the side, in front of the big toe. The angle and shape of the foot is entirely wrong for a right foot. The addition of a small toe on the side is a poor attempt to correct the error. Volpato, working after a drawing by Savorelli, has faithfully copied the foot as corrected in the loggia and the same odd foot can be seen later in 19th century engravings. This quirky error, clearly originating with the preparatory drawing for Joseph Dreams, further attests to the authenticity and dating of the easel painting.In Joseph Dreams, the musculature is rendered after the often criticized style of his Master, although Raphael himself could never have been responsible for the distortion of the back muscles in the recumbent shepherd. A drawing in the Uffizi of a River God by Romano testifies to this very distinctive way of dislocating the head to a right angle above the massive shoulders, the spine lost under an impossible crevice of muscle. Romano seems to be more interested in conveying a sense of power and physical grandeur rather than portraying a natural anatomy. This characteristic boursoufle treatment of the back is seen again in the figures of Hercules, Hebe and Apollo in the Farnesina's Feast of the Gods. It reappears in the fourth bay of the loggia with even greater distortion, in the kneeling figure to the right foreground of Abraham and Melchisedech, a peculiarity which reinforces this fresco's attribution to Giulio Romano._______________________________


One's first impression upon viewing the easel painting Joseph Dreams is that it is a far finer work than the loggia fresco and one tends to believe that the painting and the fresco could not be by the same artist. There are several reasons for this reaction. We must allow first of all for the limitations of fresco technique, secondly for the fact of the alteration of fresco pigments producing a bleached effect which is also due to the exposure to foul weather before the loggia was enclosed in modern times, and lastly, for possible restoration attempts. We know for instance, that in 1701, Carlo Maratta was commissioned to restore works by Raphael in the Vatican and his pupil Guillaume Vallet, who worked together with Maratta on the restorations, made engravings of the frescoes in the loggia, (one of which, Samuel Anoints David, belongs to the owner of Joseph Dreams). Factors of conservation aside, the important reason for such a large gap in quality between easel painting and fresco is that Raphael was probably involved on a technical level with the easel painting but hardly at all with the loggia fresco. Thus, Raphael's personality is more strongly felt in the painting even if he only was involved at the laying-in stage then as advisor to Giulio who completed the work. In Joseph Dreams one can identify the psychological overtones captured here as in all of Raphael's narrative paintings. As we recognize the technique and personality of Giulio Romano in the easel painting so we recognize the absence of Giulio's personality in the fresco. He is not considered the author of the loggia fresco which is more often given to the older Gianfrancesco Penni. Among others, Nicole Dacos, has proposed that the fresco is most likely the work of Gianfrancesco Penni.The fresco in the loggia cannot be by Giulio Romano as it is lacking the characteristic turgid foreheads of the figures as seen in the easel painting and in most all works by Romano. The foreheads of the fresco are straight and flat in the style of Penni.

Diagram 2 (not yet available on this site) 

Profile in fresco /Profile in easel painting 
This further proves that the easel painting cannot be done after the loggia fresco, as if it were, the foreheads would be drawn in the same manner as the fresco, just as they appear in the engravings of Lanfranco, Borgianni, Chapron etc. This further proves that the easel painting cannot be done after the loggia fresco, as if it were, the foreheads would be drawn in the same manner as the fresco, just as they appear in the engravings of Lanfranco, Borgianni, Chapron etc.

Table II (not yet formatted)

The following is a table of authorship for preparatory drawings and fresco execution of the Vatican loggia of Raphael that follows current attributions given by Nicole Dacos. Works by Romano are highlighted. 

Fresco Prep. Drawing Subject--------------------------------------------------------------

VAULT I Romano Penni God separates light from darkPenni Penni " " earth from watersMarcillat - God creates the Sun and Moondell Colle + da Udine - " " " animals

VAULT II Vincidor Tamagni Creation of Eveda Modena + Vincidor - Original SinVincidor Penni Adam & Eve expelled from EdenVincidor - " " " at work

VAULT III Romano + Penni? - Noah building the ArkRomano + Penni? copia Raffaello The Delugeda Udine - Leaving the ArkPenni + Romano? Penni Sacrifice of Noah

VAULT IV Romano - Abraham & MelchisedechRomano - God's promise to AbrahamPenni Penni Abraham and the AngelsRomano + Penni? Penni Lot's Flight

VAULT V Penni copia Penni God Appears to IsaacRomano - Isaac & RebeccaMachuca - Isaac blesses JacobPenni Penni Isaac & Esau

VAULT VI Romano Penni Jacob's DreamVincidor Penni Jacob & Rachel? - Jacob asks for Rachel's handVincidor - Jacob on the way to Canaan

VAULT VII Penni ? copia Penni Joseph Reveals his Dreamsda Caravaggio - Joseph sold by his BrothersRomano - Joseph and Potiphar's WifePenni ? - Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dreams

VAULT VIII Romano Penni Moses found in the WatersMarcillat copia Raffaello The Burning BushRomano Penni Crossing the Red Seadell Colle Penni Moses strikes water from rock 

VAULT IX del Vaga Raffaello Moses receives the CommandmentsRomano Penni Adoration of the Golden Calfdel Vaga - The Pillar of SmokeRomano copia Penni Moses presents the Commandments

VAULT X da Caravaggio - Passage to Jordandel Vaga - The Battle of Jerichodel Vaga - Joshua halts the Sun & Moondel Vaga del Vaga Division of the Promised Land

VAULT XI Marcillat - The Anointing of David del Vaga Raffaello David & Goliathdel Vaga del Vaga Triumph of David del Vaga Penni ? David & Bathsheba

VAULT XII Tamagni - Consecration of Solomonda Modena copia Penni Judgement of Solomonda Caravaggio - Construction of the Templedell Colle - Solomon & Queen of Sheba

VAULT XIII del Vaga? - Adoration of the ShepherdsTamagni? ? Epiphanydel Vaga + del Colle? copia del Vaga? Baptism of ChristTamagni? - Last Supper 

Vasari says that Giulio was appointed in charge of painting of the figures. In the light of recent study, it has become more apparent that Giulio, acting on instruction from Raphael, worked out preparatory drawings with Penni as the main draughtsman. As we can see from the above table, it seems that Giulio would himself then paint one, possibly two scenes of each bay in the loggia, by way of example for the other garzoni who would then complete the bay. He seems fairly consistent in this pattern up till bay IX whereafter Perino del Vaga seems to have taken over as captain of works. This is possibly because Giulio was in greater demand at the Farnesina or perhaps had been instructed by Raphael to travel to Napoli where he was to paint the portrait of Giovanna d'Aragon.Working with this theory, it seems that when Giulio arrived at bay VII, the key decorative bay of the loggia, that he painted Joseph Interpreting the Dreams of Pharaoh as example for the others to be guided by and left the painting of Joseph Reveals his Dreams to His Brothers to the reliable Penni. We suspect that there was no need for Giulio, who was just as busy as Raphael, to waste precious time painting the loggia scene of Joseph Dreams himself as Penni could have easily worked on it using Giulio's easel painting as a modello. All this is reason why, discounting Raphael's actual involvement, the canvas painting seems far more Raphaelesque in substance than the fresco and is artistically superior. In painting, it is never the case that a copy can improve to that degree on the original. This fact considered, it is clear to appreciate that the easel painting here discussed precedes the Vatican fresco. In the visual analysis of the composition we see the centre plane features the figure of Joseph and is the main point of focus. The easel painting portrays this figure with more elegance, the left arm and hand are in proper proportion to the right one as opposed to the stockier, shortened treatment of the limb in the fresco. Thus, in the painting, Joseph's left forefingers rest on his right arm. In the fresco, Joseph is seen with a more rigid profile. A raised neckline to the green robe which he wears, shortens the whole grace of the youth's exposed throat and shoulders. This could be due to a previous restoration attempt on the loggia. Joseph's robe is bland and flat in appearance compared to the soft robe in the easel painting with its pleating, its many folds to the material and the way it falls in a more natural manner around the body. Here he is wearing a long sleeve robe, a sleeveless garment was the attribute of the workers. Overall, Joseph Dreams presents the personage of Joseph in a more refined almost effeminate attitude than seen in the fresco, similar to the portrayal of Francesco Maria Della Rovere in the Theophany of the Stanze, (commonly called La Disputa), a model seen again in The School of Athens.One other Raphaelesque trademark in the composition is the whimsical placement of a solitary tree in the background. The finely painted foliage and trees, the carefully delineated pebbles scattered in the foreground display Raphael's fondness for delicate, almost fanciful portrayal of scenery. In the easel painting, the palm tree in the centre seems slightly smaller, the palm fronds are lighter and the tree does not dominate the composition as greatly as in the fresco, but rather fulfils its purpose as background scenery. It is also more evenly centred between the two dream bubble motifs.One major dissimilarity is in the distant topography of the water plane and mountainous horizon. In the fresco there is a bluish extension of the mountainscape to the left side of the mountain peak. This bluish extension appears to depict a tall mountainscape in the far distance. In place of this, the easel painting has an area of luminous white light consistent with the early morning light depicted in the rest of the painting. _______________________________

This whitish light radiating from behind the mountain and breaking on the top line of clouds is indeed crucial as it sets the time of the day for the scene depicted, bathing the entire setting in a sun-tinted hue suggestive of morning i.e. the morning after Joseph has dreamed his dreams. This missing feature of the light may also account for the fresco's more timid treatment of shadows and contrast. The flatter tones of the fresco, taking into consideration the bleaching effect, render a different ambience to that in Joseph Dreams, where the dramatic effect of contrasts emphasizes the theatrical composition of this narrative painting.It would appear in the fresco that the sun is much closer to the zenith hence the day more advanced, though this optical effect does not marry with the length of the shadows. One can see that in the easel painting, Joseph's own shadow is well-defined and longer than in the fresco where his shadow is almost missing. This feature accounts for the sense of depth perceived in the easel painting.The composition of Joseph Dreams extends further on the left plane than in the fresco and is painted from a slightly different angle of perspective, with the kneeling figure of Rueben seen almost in full, his body and yellow tunic longer and the arm of the tall standing figure on the extreme left, is also seen in full. This feature verifies the fact that the fresco was painted after the presentation painting had been executed and not in a very faithful manner. It was probably cropped to adhere to the confines of the loggia ceiling.The bodies and the faces in the presentation painting are rendered in a more dramatic light. This applies particuarly to the treatment of muscular formation. This is in accordance with the use of light, which suggests the rising of the sun when shadows are thrown into highlight and faces are flushed, lit from underneath.The hillock that forms a backdrop to the group in the left plane differs in shape and contour. The fresco has also additional foliage painted in this area which is in heavy contrast to the lighter umbrian style of the greenery in the Joseph Dreams.The fresco dream bubbles are proportionally of a larger size and the left one is suspended closer to the hillock. Here, we see a noticeable pentimento to the circumference of the sphere in the modello, when Raphael shifted its position more to the left. Again, in the right plane, the fresco dream bubble is placed closer to the side landscape than in the fresco. One major difference and somewhat gross omission in the fresco is that the figure on the extreme right has lost his toes. It is unlikely that the toes in the fresco were meant to be left out or concealed by the front leg as the foot in the modello is anatomically correct. This points to an oversight by the fresco artist when referring to the presentation painting as modello. It would appear that Penni, left to himself on the scaffolding did not match the quality of Giulio's easel painting over which Raphael had exercised a closer control and involvement.The outstanding pictorial representation of the group painted in the right plane, as well as the representation of the figure of Joseph points to the influence of Raphael. We can reasonably affirm that the supervision of the master is cause for the margin of skill between the presentation painting and the fresco. ______________________________.


The conclusive supporting scientific evidence allows us to date this painting to the period of Raphael's intense artistic activity - that of 1516 to 1519 - and the comparisons between modello and fresco make the graphic intelligence of this painting on canvas even more evident. It could not have been painted after the fresco by a mere contemporary copyist. Its execution obviously precedes the painting of the fresco, its creator was Raphael in symbiosis with his pupil Giulio Romano.The publication of this presentation painting by Giulio Romano, fills an evident gap in the corpus of study on Raphael. It also enables us to recognise an early canvas painting in which Giulio, Raphael's joint-heir and favourite pupil, played a leading role. A documented work of this kind is unique. Thus, the chance to conduct extensive studies on this modello is inestimable in terms of knowledge into the creative technique and special inter-relationship of the talents of both artists.This study consequently brings us to confirm the traditional attribution of this painting as a work by Giulio Romano. It is a perfect example of a work dating from the period of the maturity of Raphael, remarkable by the cohesion of its well ordered composition and by its narrative vitality. It is a work painted, we believe, with the assistance of Raphael for we have recognized, in the execution of the underpainting, the hand of the Master.

These were the preliminary findings that Studio Veritas has been able to uncover. We have, by no means closed the file and we are hopeful that contributions from researchers shall continue to enrich this sum of data. A special effort is being made to compile information relating to the provenance of this painting which is incomplete. By consent from the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, major museums and galleries are welcome to borrow this work for loan exhibition. We are thankful to the authors mentioned in this study who by their works have helped us to contribute to the enrichment of Raphael's corpus.


15. J-P. Cuzin, op.cit. at note 6 above, p.207.

16. Bembo to Bibbiena , July 19, 1517, in B. Opera, u.s., v.p.59

17 Aug. 15 and Sept. 10 Muntz, Raphael, note to p. 452.

18 V. Zahn, Notizie Artistiche tratte del Arch. Vatic. p. 24, and Giorn. di Erud. Tosc., u.s., vol. vi. p. 280.

19 Archivio Vaticano : on the 11th June 1519 an order of payment of 25 ducats was made to the garzini who had worked on the loggia. On the 4th May 1520 Marcantonio Michiel wrote to Antonio Marsilio in Venice <> In a letter of the 15th June 1520 to Isabelle d'Este, Castiglione describes the loggia as, <> implying he had viewed the finished loggia.

20 Janet Cox-Rearick, Dynasty and Destiny in Medici Art, Princeton, 1984, p.161.

21 P. Giovio, Le vite de Leon X et d'Adriano VI sommi Pontefici, et del Cardinale Pompeo Colonna, Florence, 1551, III, p.152.

22 ref. Janet Cox-Rearick, 1984, p.52

23 Bernice Davidson, Raphael's Bible, A study of the Vatican Logge, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1985, p.43-44.

24 G. Vasari, ......date, p. 300

.25 As Berenson comments: <> B. Berenson, Italian Painters of the Rennaisance, London 1952, p. 132.

26 The cartoon was painted in reverse to be used by the weavers for the tapestry, thus the sheep appear in the same aspect in the finished tapestry as they do in Joseph Dreams. There are other scenes in the loggia with sheep grazing: Jacob Meets Rachel, The Burning Bush and Jacob Returns to Canaan, with animals that bare no resemblance to the sheep of Raphael as seen in both the painting Joseph Dreams and the Christ's Charge to Peter cartoon. Of further interest is a painting in Dresden's Gemaldegalerie, attributed to Giulio Romano called Pan and Daphnis which includes a single sheep grazing, again to the right side of the composition, the head of the animal quite in the style of the grazing sheep in Joseph Dreams.

27 See the blonde youth in profile placed to the left of Plato in The School of Athens, Vatican; the figure supporting the Virgin in Christ Falls on the Way to Cavalry, Prado and the St. John the Evangelist in Saint Cecilia, Bologna.

28 In a letter to his friend Baldassare Castiglione from Rome, 1514, Raphael writes: <> F. Lavery, date......, p. 76.Here Raphael is speaking in relation to a female model for his Galatea in the Farnesina but the same theory must have applied to young male ideal types who are certainly androgynous in appearance.

29 The drawing is in the Raphael "notebook" of the Accademia in Venice. (Passavant, 1860, p.408, no.5). A related drawing in reverse position from the Venice notebook is also mentioned by Passavant, ibid.,no.4 and corresponds closely to a figure painted by Signorelli in the Sistine Chapel of a nobleman standing to the left of Joshua kneeling in The Last Days of Moses. Perugino finished work on the Sistine Chapel in 1483 and in 1495 brought his related sketches back to Perugia where the young Raphael copied them.

30 St. Apollonia, ex-Contini-Bonacossi collection, recently acquired by the Uffizi, Florence. St.John the Baptist Preaching, National Gallery London, no. 6480.

31 Dacos, 1986, Sogno del Faraone, tavola CL fig. 16.

32 Abate Luigi Lanzi was born in 1732. In 1773 he was appointed keeper of the Galleries of Florence. He wrote The History of Painting in Italy, Translated from the Italian by T.Roscoe, 6 vols. London [1828]. His work on Raphael is amongst the most reliable of books of reference on the subject.

33 Felix Lavery, Raphael, 3rd Edition, 1922, London, p.107. For one example of Raphael's technique in painting the eye "somewhat long" see The Entombment (1507), particularly the eyes of the Magdalene.

34 See in particular the round protruding eyes of all figures in Cristo in gloria con quattro santi, 1521-22, Parma, Pinacoteca Nazionale. After a drawing by Raphael in the Paul Getty Museum, Malibu.

35 Madonna della Quercia, ca.1520, Prado, Madrid.

37 Anatomy and rendering of musculature was not Raphael's forte; see Fire in the Borgo, the figure hanging from the wall, as Vasari comments <>, ed. 1771, p.222. and <>, ibid.p.220.

38 A River God(?), Uffizi no. 576 E. Sop. 377312. Attributed to Giulio Romano, the iconography of this drawing is ambiguous but stylistically, it shares much in common with the monochrome relief paintings of Hercules that appear in the Sala dei Cavalli of the Palazzo del Te. Possibly, it was a preparatory design for the same room that was not executed.

39 F. Mancinelli and F. Rossi comment in reference to the fresco, <> loc.cit. at note 8 above.

40 (36) '...ma forse falsato da qualche restauro, fra l'altro sul viso di Giuseppe', N.Dacos, loc. cit at note 3 above.

41 (37) Genesis XXXVII:3

42 (38) See The Dream of the Young Scipio : Nat. Gall. London/ The Taking of Christ for Entombment: Gallery Borghese/ The Solly Madonna: Staatliche Museum Berlin/ Parnassus: Vatican, etc.

43 (39) There are few pentimenti in this modello as observed in other works by Raphael. Segolene Bergeon in discussing the Grande Sainte Famille comments 'Sur de sa technique, Raphael change peu de composition au cours de sa creation: on observe peu ou pas de repentirs dans son oeuvre, a peine ici quelques millimetres a propos de l'index de la main auche de la Vierge; cette authorite est-elle due a la maitrise de frequiste qui sait qu'il ne peut se corriger', op.cit. above at note 22, p.50

44 See Studio Veritas' technical report

45 J-P. Cuzin, 1983, p.207

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