Thomassin, Simon (1655-1733), after Raphael (1483-1520; Italian)
Jesus ayant pris… [Transfiguration of Christ] 1680
Gift of George Collins Levey 1879
National Gallery of Victoria (p.183.20-1 & p.183.12-1)
= Levey gift, cat.12-13
This 2-part engraving was the only print in the Tableaux du roi series to be based on a painting that was not in the French royal collection. It reproduces Raphael’s altarpiece (1516-20), engraved on the spot in Rome, as the inscription indicates (“gravé sur les lieux”).
In the wake of Raphael’s death (April 1520), the painting was installed in S.Pietro in Montorio by its patron Cardinal Giulio de’Medici, later Pope Clement VII. In 1798, Napoleon had it taken to Paris and exhibited in the Louvre (open to the public since 1793), with other looted Raphaels and other works. After its return to Italy, together with the Apollo Belvedere, Laocoön, etc., it was installed in the Vatican.
The two prints correspond to Raphael’s distinct treatment of the two Biblical episodes of Christ’s Transfiguration above the healing of a possessed boy (narrated simultaneously in Matthew’s Gospel, ch.17).
Thomassin, who was was born in Troyes and studied under Picart, was a modest talent whose limitations are apparent here.
Not listed in NGV 1894 or 1905
Both the Melbourne impressions are catalogued as by an unknown engraver after Raphael; and neither is reproduced
Cf. Suite et Arrangement (1727), p.1; and Duplessis Cabinet du roi (1869), p.7. For Thomassin, see Bénézit 13, p.887