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Raphael, The Procession to Calvary

Key facts
Full title The Procession to Calvary
Artist Raphael
Artist dates 1483 - 1520
Date made about 1504-5
Medium and support Oil on poplar
Dimensions 24.4 × 85.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1913
Inventory number NG2919
Location Room 26
Collection Main Collection
The Procession to Calvary

This is one of three scenes from the predella of Raphael’s Colonna Altarpiece painted for the convent of S. Antonio da Padua in Perugia. The Procession to Calvary was the central scene of the predella, positioned below the main panel of the altarpiece.

Christ looks to us as he carries the Cross, helped by Simon of Cyrene and escorted by five foot soldiers. The Virgin Mary is supported by the Three Marys and accompanied by Saint John the Evangelist, who wrings his hands in grief. The three distinct groups of the procession are linked together by a rhythm of repeated colour and by the figures who look back over their shoulders at the groups behind.

Several of the figures show the influence of other artists, including Leonardo, Filippino Lippi and Justus of Ghent, demonstrating how Raphael was assimilating different approaches and ideas into his own developing style during this early period of his career.

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