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Q: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael ( No Answer,   22 Comments )
Subject: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: montgomery742-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 03 May 2006 18:37 PDT
Expires: 02 Jun 2006 18:37 PDT
Question ID: 725273
I?d like help trying to find 3 paintings. Ive never actually seen
these paintings, but I read about them in someone?s memoirs.

The author writes that he once visited a museum where he saw three
paintings by Raphael which made a strong impact on him. From my
estimations the visit took place around 1880 and was most likely in
The author describes the painting like this:
The first painting is of a battle field. We can see soldiers and
horses fighting it out. Crippled fighters walk around with missing
hands and feet. In one part, up higher than the battle itself we can
see the generals peering down through scopes on the men as they fight.
It is said that when one expert viewed this painting, he stood there
for a long while taking it all in, and then fainted from the bloody
scene he beheld.

The Second painting is grain field. It is a spring day and the sun is
out shining. Off to a side we see a large tree with much foliage.
There seems to be a black raven perched on one of the braches.

The third painting portrays a Roman court house. We can see all
involved parties, the accused, the judges, the prosecutor and even the
families. It seems that the son of the accused is holding the floor,
in an attempt defend his fathers fate.

These are the description more or less. As I have said the painting
are said to be by Raphael and were seen in a museum in Europe around

Any Clues?

It did occur to me at one point that perhaps the paintings were by
another painter with the name Raphael, for example Anton Raphael
Mengs. At any rate it?s the painting Im trying to find regardless of
the painter.

Request for Question Clarification by pinkfreud-ga on 03 May 2006 18:58 PDT
It might help if we knew whose memoirs mentioned these paintings.

Clarification of Question by montgomery742-ga on 03 May 2006 19:37 PDT
The memoirs are from a private individual, nobody especially well know.

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 03 May 2006 20:10 PDT
Hello montgomery742-ga,

I think you'll have a much better chance of getting at least a partial
answer if you posted a separate question for each painting. That way
three researchers can be working on your question at the same time and
you can get a partial answer if one or two, instead of all three, of
the paintings are identified. My hunch is that no researcher will
bother with this question as it's posted. This search will take a lot
of effort and the $5 you posted is not much of an incentive.

You might also want to take a look at these links.

Who knows, you might be in luck and someone will recognize the
painting from your description and come up with it's name.

All the best.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by montgomery742-ga on 03 May 2006 21:01 PDT
I will consider the question answered if any one of the three
paintings are identified, although I'd love to identify all three.

Request for Question Clarification by answerfinder-ga on 04 May 2006 00:57 PDT
Re your first description. You?ve stated a painting, but could it have
been a fresco?

What about The Battle of the Milvian Bridge?


Clarification of Question by montgomery742-ga on 04 May 2006 06:26 PDT
Yes, I guess it could have been a fresco. The frescothat you showed me
shows the right concept and detail, but i dont thik we have a match
for a number of reasons. The author said he was in a museum, not in
the vatican. There would have a very compelying case to say that,
indeed it was in the vatican and not a museum. Secondly, I dont see
Generals pering down through scopes. And thridly, the author describes
rivers of blood, wheresas in this fresco theres hardly any bloo at
all. Of course we could say he was describing the river with with all
the people in it, so this is not a crucial point. As well, there arent
any limb-less soldiers. I wasent really able to get a totaly clear
picture so i may be wrong, but the first reasons seem compeling.
However, the concept and detail seem like Raphael is the right artist.
Is it possible he created another like it?

Request for Question Clarification by answerfinder-ga on 04 May 2006 07:16 PDT
Scopes - I missed that bit. That seems to rule out the more famous
Raphael 1483 ? 1520.
Telescopes were not around at that time. Your last painting seems to
be more of the French Academy style. I?ll have another look.

Clarification of Question by montgomery742-ga on 04 May 2006 12:18 PDT
Very, very interesting. All i have to go on is what it says in the
memoirs. I guess in trying to find the painting we would have to look
at memoirs and try to see where a layman could make a mistake. Like I
said in my original question, its not so much Raphael im looking for,
its the painting. Raphael was just a pointer. Now to clarify what
you?ve asked and add some details.
The memoirs are written in a foreign language which could add to the
complexity. The author was for sure never in America, but France would
be a realistic possibility. Ill have to do a bit more research about
the authors travel and see if I can come up with anything else.
The Battle scene painting: The author writes that the generals were
using ?magnifying glass? (my translation) to view the combat. If
nothing of that concept was around in the 1500?s, then your most
definitely write. I took another look and found a few more interesting
details. There are field doctors in the painting, perhaps even
stretchers. There is also much cavalry, and we can see horse coming
from afar to join the battle. It also seems (although im not 100% sure
because of the language), that there are bullets and/or cannonballs.
Would that again rule out Raphael? The memoirs describe men with
swords as well. Is that possible, swords and guns in the same war?

The Field painting: It I possible, but perhaps unlikely, that there
was a human in the picture but the author in his description ignored
him to focus on the bird in the tree. Just an extra detail but there
is a lizard-like creature next to the tree.

The court scene: Is it possible that a layman would mistake a court
scence, to call it roman? Perhaps, but there is something distinct
about Romans that even layman recognize. Another detail, it seems that
the son pleading for his father is a child and he?s standing on a

I hope this helps!
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 04 May 2006 07:41 PDT
None of the pictures seem to me to be by Raphael, Raffaelo Sanzio, the
Renaissance painter.
The mention of generals' looking through telescopes puts the battle
scene in a much later era, although the rest of the description seems
more appropriate to earlier paintings  - but not something by Raphael.
A landscape without persons as the significant feature is also not
likely to be by Raphael.
The Roman court scene sounds familiar to me.  I envision a painting in
the style of Jacques-Louis David.  Perhaps someone who knows Roman
history can suggest the names of the father-son involved in such a
case, which would allow a better search for the picture.  If I were
right about the style (period late 18th-early 19th century), it would
be likely to be in a French museum.

Do the memoirs allow any closer indication about where in Europe the
person traveled?  If not necessarily in Europe, then almost certainly
in USA, NY, Boston, maybe Philadelphia?

Anton Raphael Mengs, 1728-1779, is a better suggestion for the painter.

It might also be mentioned that in the late 19th century, many
paintings were incorrectly ascribed to famous artists  - also by
overly enthusiastic guides - and also that a layman could easily make
a mistake in his diary.
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 04 May 2006 16:22 PDT
I think that your clarification rules out Raffaello Sanzio.
The detail about the field medics moves us up to the time of Napoleon
and thereafter, if this site can be trusted:

Battle scene painting are generally found in the country that won the battle.
(Remember, I said this first.  ;)

From the time of Napoleon to 1880, this suggests that the painting was
French, English (Waterloo, Crimea), German (Leipzig, Waterloo,
Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71), Belgium (Waterloo) or maybe Russian. 
From the description, it would probably have shown the scene from the
prospect of the generals, allowing them to be identified, and would
have been large enough to include all the detail (no problem with guns
and swords during this period).  It is not impossible that an artist
painted an earlier battle scene and included field medics who hadn't
existed at the time.  But such paintings that highlighted the generals
tended to overlook the gruesome  - missing limbs.  That is more in
Goya's style  - a long series of small etchings -  but I doubt that he
did a painting of the type that I am envisioning from the

One thing we think we know is that the three pictures were in one
museum or castle, the battle scene and Roman court scene (yes, French
Academy, Paf) suggesting a politically significant owner/collector,
and probably one in a European capital, including St. Petersburg - the

What is the language of the memoirs?  If published, where?
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 04 May 2006 17:41 PDT
Myoarin, you?re brilliant, just brilliant!
Im going to be up all night finding this, but I think were onto something.
The memoirs are in a dialect spoken in Russia, and aren?t published.
I?m going to have to ask an expert for a more precise translation but
I think were pretty close.
Ill have to get back to you.
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 04 May 2006 17:56 PDT
Here what ive come up with so far:
There are 3 battle scence paints here. The Third one seems to have
been painted after 1880 so its out. At first glance the first two
definatley seem to have the right concept. In the first theres even
someone holding a scope. Theres even a painting of generals with
scopes at the top of the page!
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 04 May 2006 18:23 PDT
As myoarin suggested, the Peter Von Hess painting is located at the Hermitage.
It is quite possible that the museum the author was reffering to was in Russia.
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 04 May 2006 18:56 PDT
Interesting. The Hermitage has a section which they call The Raphael
Loggias. It seems to be a copy of Raphaels images form the vatican.
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 05 May 2006 03:05 PDT
Well, sometimes going to museums all my life pays off!
Yes, the Hermitage does sound like a prime suspect if the memoirs are
in a Russian dialect.  And the Raphael Loggias give a reason for that
name being mentioned.
Perhaps something has slipped in your translation, and possibly the
author was not so precise, considering the masses of impressions a
tour of the Hermitage presents, maybe confusing and/or combining
recollections of two battle scene paintings.  There could well have
been another one that existed in 1880 that had the generals with
telescopes (a word someone writing in a dialect might not have known 
- or in the dialect was described as a magnifying glass.  "Glass", as
in "spyglass", is a word for a telescope.)

I hope that we are on the right track.
Again, if someone could suggest names for the father and son in the
Roman court scene, maybe we could track down that painting.
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: answerfinder-ga on 05 May 2006 04:14 PDT
?considering the masses of impressions a tour of the Hermitage presents?
You?re so right there myoarin-ga. I was dumbfounded after my visit.
There were so many treasures to look at.  I think it would take
several months to see all of them. I?ll come back to this when I
return from a week-end away.

This is not the painting, but talking of a child standing on a chair
defending his father, this one is in the same theme.
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 05 May 2006 16:11 PDT
I?ve done a bit more research as to the travels of our author. During
the years where it?s possible to have seen these pictures the author
was in many places through out Europe and Russia. Namely, Petersburg,
Moscow, Paris and elsewhere in France, Odessa, Italy, Germany and
Austria. Besides for those I mentioned, most times it?s only the
country that?s made reference to. That?s most likely because he did
not visit the major cities. This being the case it is most likely that
the museum referred to was in Russia, possibly the hermitage, or
Paris, perhaps the Louvre.
Ive found a similar Landscape picture to the one describes, also in the Hermitage.
Its not the perfect match, but perhaps something similar. As well, the
entry dates of this picture into the Museum seems to rule it out.
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 05 May 2006 18:06 PDT
I hate to think how much time you must have spent perusing the Hermitage website!
Pity that the person traveled so much.  I completely forgot Austria,
certainly also a possible place for the museum with those pictures.

I wonder why he mentioned the painting with the tree.  It doesn't
sound so remarkable, suggesting that maybe there were not soooo many
pictures in the collection,  or   that he mentioned it because of its
being pointed out as having been painted by someone famous, "Raphael"
or whomever.

Maybe I can find something in my art survey books tomorrow, maybe ...

Regards, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 06 May 2006 04:12 PDT
No luck.  :(
One would think that somehow in the memoirs there would be a way to
narrow down the choice of countries.  And again, I wonder why the
author chose to mention these three pictures without a closer
identification of the place.

Are the pictures themselves important to you, or only as a way to
identify where they are/were?
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 06 May 2006 19:47 PDT
Myoarin your keen perception never ceases to astound me. The author
indeed doesn?t mention the tree picture because of its uniqueness,
although there was mention of it being a beautiful work and from
Raphael. Rather, it seems there was some irregularity with the picture
which no one picked up on. One day a simple peasant, to the great
astonishment of the museum staff, pointed out this irregularity to the
assembled crowd. It seems that upon one of the wheat stlaks rested a
small bird, but the stem didn?t give under the weight of the bird. So
goes the story. It was because of the acute perception of this simple
fellow that the author mentioned this painting.
After a bit more research it seems Austria is actually a great
candidate. Elsewhere the author mentions, in passing, the/a museum in
Vienna. He doesn?t mention that he visited, but aware of its
I?m not all that familiar with museums (besides, of course for the
hermitage!), but which museums or galleries in Europe would have
paintings by Raphael, or at least of that caliber?
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 07 May 2006 07:12 PDT
Darn, I just hit a wrong key and deleted my comment!  Here goes again:

That is a very interesting story about the peasant.  Together with the
one about the gentleman who fainted, it suggests that the author heard
it from a guide, and also that he was not so familiar with fine art,
common at the time, since there were no books full of reproductions to
teach people  - and let them beware of guides with misinformation.
I don't have much faith in the attribution to Raphael.  His name is
connected with "Loggias" in Petersburg, as you found, and in the
Vatican, Answerfinder's link to the fresco of the Battle at the
Milvian Bridge.  (Mengs was mainly a portraitist, I have learned.)

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna does have a Madonna by Raphael,
but it is so typical of his work (many Madonnas), that I doubt that it
would not have been correctly mentioned.

However, this museum only opened in the 1890s, although the collection
existed already, but not all the paintings may have been moved there. 
The battle scene was probably not by a significant artist and could
have been left behind in the castle or wherever.
There is also the problem that between 1880 and the 1920s, many
paintings were sold as US collections grew and, noble families'
collections reduced when democracy ousted the owners in Germany,
Austria, Hungary, and Russia.

Since it seems unlikely that the "tree" and the battle scene were by
really major artists, I am beginning to doubt that they can be traced.

I still have hopes that someone can pin names to the father and son in
Roman history whose court appearance could help identify that picture.

Regards, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 07 May 2006 12:49 PDT
That?s probably not what I wanted to hear, but the sad reality is
better than the blissful fantasy. Im just glad I asked you before I
planned a trip to Europe to scour through art galleries with a fine
tooth comb. :) Thanks!
I think from your first post I had already realized that the paintings
must have been mislabeled or something like that. I just want to be
totally sure that they weren?t by someone famous and hence shipped off
to the US of A.
The author gives a few more details as to the peasant story, which
perhaps might add light. I am bearing in mind that the story was told
by the guide and might not be totally accurate.
The guide said, as part of the story, that the assembled staff were
amused at the peasants dismissal of the painting (before he pointed
out what indeed was amiss), because they had spent an enormous amount
of money on this painting. Would this, perhaps, indicate that this
wasn?t by some no name painter?
When the guide tells the story to his superior, he refers to the
painting by number. Could such an organized system be attributed to a
particular museum?
The author tells of the peasants? inability to pronounce the name
Raphael. He writes that the peasants from ?that place? couldn?t
pronounce the ?R? or ?Ph? sounds in Raphael, but instead said
?Chachael?. The ?Ch? being pronounced as the ?ch? in ?Bach?. Could
this annunciation give a clue as to the whereabouts of the gallery.
I think all the above is a long shot, but you seem to find valuable
information in seemingly trivial details.
Do you have any hunch as to were the displays from the museum in
Vienna would have displayed before the opening of the current Museum
of Fine Art?

I find the acquisition of art by the US fascinating. A real shift in
world culture. Where the purchasers private individuals or public
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 07 May 2006 16:38 PDT
The memoirs are gaining depth  - interesting author, that he included such details.
Many collections used inventory numbers on paintings   - and
everything else.  I have seen them on picture frames in several
places, so that alone doesn't add much, except that the picture was in
a sizeable, publicly viewable collection, which is some information.

Just as an aside, I was in my local German castle today and in the
corridor behind the chapel looked in two wardrobes, each with an
inventory label and each with a sticker saying respectively:  "13
coathangers", "5 coathangers."  Keeping inventory was a refined art
back when material goods were the greater part of wealth.

Vienna:  it is, no doubt, possible to find out where the origins of
the museum's collection came from, probably by asking one of the
contacts on that website, but we really don't know if it is the right

US collectors were mainly if not exclusively individuals at that time:
 Morgan, Frick, Vanderbilt, etc., etc.  Many of the pictures or whole
collections later becoming part of the big museums' collections,
including the National Gallery in Washington.

Finally, the peasant's difficulty with pronouncing Raphael, which puts
the name back in the forefront, suggesting strongly that the owner
considered the painting to be by Raphael, and that it had been
acquired fairly recently.  I am still sceptical, but if they thought
so back then, the story stands, for what it is worth.  (More than one
musuem and collector has been disappointed by the results of the long
project to identify Rembrandt paintings more precisely.)

The pronunciation of Raphael as "chachael"  - at least as the
listeners interpreted what he said, and what got passed on -  could be
a clue, but I can't work with it.
It might be worth an specific additional question.  A Researcher would
like a reward for answering it, which he or she wouldn't get for
volunteering the information here.

This is all very interesting.

Regards, Myoarin
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 08 May 2006 21:15 PDT
Your right. im gong to try to formulat a new question for a higher
value. in the mean time 2 more details have emergred.
1. the author also visted Checkoslovakia, and spent considerable time
in Menton, in the south of france.
2. The referance the author makes to a museum in Vienna is before the
opening of the current Museum of Fine Arts.

As i begin to fomulat my new question, i fell a true debt of gratitute
to the valuable advice you have shared with me. Thank you very much!
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 09 May 2006 05:49 PDT
It has been interesting and fun, despite the failure to really close on an answer.
I'll be looking forward to see if there is help with the
pronunciation.  It occurred to me that the the story about the
peasant's mispronunciation could be influenced by the listeners'
parodying his difficulty, maybe reporting his gutteral R as CH.  Just
an idea, and none on CH for PH.  Is there a dialect or language in
Europe that has difficulty with F-sounds?

Good luck!  Myoarin
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 09 May 2006 07:05 PDT
I was speaking with an frined from Holland. He claims that there is a
region of Holland where peole cant pronounce "ph". Instead they say
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 09 May 2006 14:00 PDT
Well, that is pretty much what I say too, in my native English or in
German, and your Dutch friend's comment needs interpretation:  what
sound does he/she mean with "v"?
"Wie viel" in German is pronounced "vee feel".

I hope that peasant didn't just happen to have a speech defect.  ;)
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: montgomery742-ga on 09 May 2006 17:32 PDT
I thin my friend from Holland was saying that those people would say
"veal" instead of "feel".

Im thinking to repost my question for a higher value. I hope i might
be able to chance upon someone who might know. I would include mmost
of our dialouge from here. Do you think this is a good idea? Any
suggestions of how to go about it?

Thanks again for all your help thus far.
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: myoarin-ga on 10 May 2006 04:28 PDT
In your new question you could refer to this one by copying and
inserting the thread above for easy click reference.  I expect that
those with an interest in the topic have been reading.

It might be more successful to post a couple of individual questions, say:

one about the peasant's pronunciation, 
one asking for help identifying a Roman Father-Son court case or
similar story, and possible identification of the painting.

I don't think there is much chance of finding the battle scene on the
web, but maybe someone has a better idea for searching than I had.
Add the reference to each question.  Price makes a difference, as you
can read in the FAQs and see from response to this and other

You should point out what is most important to you:  identifying the
paintings, or discovering where they were.

Good luck!  Myoarin
Subject: Re: Locating Three Paintings by Raphael
From: pondjumper-ga on 16 May 2006 21:46 PDT
Re: The court painting.

This sounds like many version of The Continence of Scipio. The history
behind all the different versions is really other than an old man on
trial and a younger man/boy speaking for him. Nevertheless, I've seen
versions where such may be interpreted. Unfortunately, there are many,
many, versions of this scene through the centuries. If it is the one
you refer to, there's probably 3 or 4 versions that might fit the

I note this one in particular. Bear in mind, there are many
interpretations by many painters, so what you see here may not be the
one in your memoirs. However, another version by another painter could
be what you seek.

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