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.
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
552 mm x 431 mm
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