Master Collection activity 7: Raphael’s spot the difference
Children investigate The Expulsion of Heliodorus, a copy (by an unknown artist) of a famous Raphael wall painting in the Vatican, Rome.
They use it as a starting point for discussion, enquiry and creativity, including how artists are inspired by other artists, and experiments with printing and mirror imagery.
Increased knowledge and understanding of art and how it is made, how artists are inspired by other artists, and of Classical and Renaissance art.
Develop skills and confidence in studying artworks and expressing ideas and opinions about them.
KS1-4 Art (investigating and comparing artworks, artists inspiration, Renaissance art, different art techniques and media)
KS1-2 History (Renaissance art).(
KS1-2 English (drama, creative writing)
Pupils investigate The Expulsion of Heliodorus at Learn with Objects Master Collection 7: The Expulsion of Heliodorus. Ask the following questions:
What’s happening in the drawing?
What mood is the horseman in?
Tell the children this painting is a copy (by an unknown Renaissance artist) of a famous wall painting by Raphael (who himself was inspired by another famous artwork).
Compare the Folkestone painting with the Raphael original
Compare the copy of The Expulsion of Heliodorus in the Folkestone Museum Collection with the Raphael original at the Vatican in Rome.
- What is different?
- Why might the artist of the Folkestone copy have made the changes?
Raphael’s inspiration (from Ancient Rome)
Now show pupils the Raphael original alongside the drawing of the Roman battle scene at Learn with Objects Master Collection 20: drawings from the Roman Arch of Constantine which he used for inspiration.
- What has Raphael used from the Roman battle scene?
- What has he changed?
- Why might he have made the changes?
- Where has he placed the Expulsion scene?
- Can you find a portrait of the Pope and a self-portrait that Raphael has included in his painting?
Background information on the story of Heliodorus
Heliodorus was a Syrian official sent to rob Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem at the time of Syrian domination over the Jews. According to apocryphal accounts, when Heliodorus and his guard arrived at the Temple ‘they saw a horse, splendidly caparisoned, with a rider of terrible aspect; it rushed fiercely at Heliodorus and, rearing up, attacked him with its hooves.’ The two young companions of the rider, represented as angels, scourged Heliodorus, who collapsed, but the Temple priest took care of him.
The subject was regarded as a prefiguration of Christ driving the money-changers from the Temple.
(Hall’s Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art)
How Raphael’s painting inspired other artists
Raphael’s painting in turn inspired compositions by other artists.
Ask pupils to compare Raphael’s painting with the Master Collection drawing of Saint George and the Dragon. See Learn with Objects Master Collection 2: animal studies.
A copy in two halves?
The Master Collection painting The Expulsion of Heliodorus may relate to, or be a copy of, an etched version of the Raphael painting, by Carlo Maratta (1625-1713), made in two halves.
The left half of the etching is the right half of Raphael’s painting
The right half of the etching is the left half of Raphael’s painting
Compare these with an engraving of the whole painting by Johannes Volpato (dates), which reproduces the image the same way round as Raphael’s painting
Ask pupils to experiment with mirror imaging and printing inspired by some of the content they have investigated above.
Learn with Objects links
Use Learn with Objects Master Collection 7: Expulsion of Heliodorus; Master Collection 20: drawings from the Roman Arch of Constantine; and Master Collection 2: animal studies (St George and the Dragon).