Allegory of Life (The Dream of Raphael), 1561



Bequest of Herschel V. Jonesexpand_more  P.68.167

Not on Viewexpand_more

Among the many creatures inhabiting this dense landscape, we can spy a triton, a dragon, and a centaur. The Latin inscription near the feet of the old man is from the Aeneid: "The unhappy one sits and will sit forever." The message refers to Theseus, who was trapped in Hades for his lustful transgressions. His boat is in no condition to cross the river Styx. Yet, the woman at the right offers him hope for redemption if not release: "Do not yield to adversities, but go out and meet them bravely." In the courtly context from which this emerged, the woman has both Christian and political significance.

Allegory of Life (The Dream of Raphael)
Artist Life
Accession Number
Unidentified printed T in pen, verso, not in Lugt; Edme Durand, L.741; Francois Debois, L.985; Ambroise Firmin-Didot, L.119; 'J.H.P.' 1895, L.1474a; Roullier, 1917; Jaun-Jorge Pioli, L.2020
Catalogue Raisonne
Bartsch 67; Lewis and Lewis 28 iia/vi
Curator Approved

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