We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Persian Sibyl

The Persian Sibyl, 1570-5

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 - 1564)

RA Collection: Art

These prints are from a set of six engraved by Giorgio Ghisi depicting the prophets and sibyls from the pendentives at the lower edge of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512. They depict the Eritrean Sibyl, The Prophet Joel, The Prophet Ezekiel, The Persian Sibyl, The Prophet Jeremiah, and The Delphic Sibyl.

Ghisi made an earlier print of the whole Last Judgement scene from the Sistine Chapel (1540s) and some of the prophets and sibyls were once thought to have been produced in the same decade but this is likely to be incorrect (see Boorsch and Lewis). The prophets and sibyls are though to date from the 1570s instead. These prints are later impressions of Ghisi's plates published in the 17th century.

This set of prints is probably the one bought by the Academy in 1810 at the suggestion of John Flaxman who was appointed the Academy's first Professor of Sculpture the same year.

Further reading:

Alida Moltedo, La Sistina Riprodotta: Gli affreschi di Michelangelo dalle stampe del Cnquecento alle campagne fotographiche Anderson, Rome, 1991, p.73, no.18/2 iii/v
Suzanne Boorsch, Michael and R.E. Lewis,The Engravings of Giorgio Ghisi, New York, p.155, no.45 iii/v

All objects in this group

Object details

Title
The Persian Sibyl
Original attributed to
Engraved by
Giorgio Ghisi (1520 - 1582)
Published by
Nicolas van Aelst (c.1550 - 1615)
Date
1570-5
Object type
Print
Place of Publication
Rome
Dimensions

552 mm x 431 mm

Collection
Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
06/236
Acquisition
Purchased from Colnaghi and Company in 17 November 1818

Associated works of art

3 results

return to start
back

Start exploring the RA Collection

read more
  • Explore art works, paint-smeared palettes, scribbled letters and more...
  • Artists and architects have run the RA for 250 years.
    Our Collection is a record of them.
Start exploring