Cartoon Transfer Technique

raphael cartoon

The preparatory cartoon for Raphael’s fresco “The School of Athens,” a full-scale drawing used to transfer the image to a wall in the Vatican, has undergone a four-year restoration. Credit Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, via Mondadori Portfolio.

The article is about Raphael’s preparatory cartoon for his fresco “The School of Athens” in the Vatican. What caught my eye in particular was mention of the method used to transfer the image to the walls.

Its value must have been evident to Raphael’s contemporaries, and rather than use the cartoon itself for the fresco, a copy was used and the original was preserved. That copy was destroyed through use when the outlines of the figures and details were pricked with pins, and the cartoon was dabbed with a cloth bag containing charcoal powder to transfer the image to the walls.

(Elisabetta Povoledo, “How Did Raphael Do It? To Find Out, Get Up Close,” NYTimes, 3-26-19)

(c) 2019 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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