1500 – 1600
End of the Renaissance and the Reformation

Raphael's Galatea


Raphael, Galatea,  c. 1513, fresco, 3 x 2.2 m, Sala di Galatea, Villa Farnesina, Rome

Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker

Raphael is thought to have loosely based his fresco on the following poetic excerpt:

Two shapely dolphins pull a chariot: on it sits
Galatea and wields the reins; as they swim, they
breath in unison; a more wanton flock circles
around them: one spews forth salt waves, others
swim in circles, one seems to cavort and play for
love; with her faithful sisters, the fair nymph
charmingly laughs at such a crude singer.

Angelo Poliziano, Stanze per la giostra, 1:118, 1475, translated by David Quint

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