Copy after Raphael's Vatican Loggia Fresco: Cain and Abel

WAG 1995.221


One of a series of eight drawings copying the now barely visible monochrome frescoes on the Vatican Loggias or Long Gallery. These were painted by Raphael's pupils and his workshop after his designs. The Gallery is divided up into 13 square vaults, with four frescoes within each vault. It was commissioned by a member of the Medici family, Pope Leo X, whose biography in English was first written by William Roscoe, one of the owners of this drawing. The Walker's drawings are in the same orientation as Bartoli's engravings of the frescoes. WAG 1995.221 shows the frieze in the second bay of the Loggia, representing the Old Testament story of Adam and Eve's sons Cain and Abel (Genesis Chapter 4 verses 1-15). On the left God is seen favouring Abel over Cain as they make offerings to Him. On the right we see Cain's revenge, by murdering his brother Abel.