Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo
by RAFFAELLO

Between 1514 and 1517 Raphael and his workshop frescoed the walls of the Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo at Leo X's behest. The scenes depicted clearly relate to the new pope. They consist of four episodes from the history of the church during the Carolingian age, each of which has a pope named Leo. Leo X had found the theme of Leo I and Attila already present in the program of the Stanza d'Eliodoro, but he related it to himself by introducing his portrait features. This painted identification with predecessors sharing his name is one he continued in the Stanza dell'Incendio with stories of the popes Leo III and Leo IV: in each case the papal protagonist named Leo has Leo X's facial features.

This room contains episodes like the Fire in the Borgo, in which a miracle performed by Pope Leo IV caused a fire raging in Rome in 847 to be extinguished; the Battle of Ostia, in which the Saracens were lost in a storm at sea, presumably because of the presence of Leo IV, and the Coronation of Charlemagne by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day, 799. Here the illustration of themes drawn from the past mixes with the celebration of the political projects of the present Pope, in this case Leo X's reconciliation with France. The fourth subject, the Oath of Leo III, anticipates the numerous representations of popes and bishops in assizes which became common during the Counter Reformation in the late 16th century.

Preview Picture Data Info
View of the Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo
1514
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Fire in the Borgo
1514
Fresco, width at base: 670 cm
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Fire in the Borgo (detail)
1514
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Fire in the Borgo (detail)
1514
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Fire in the Borgo (detail)
1514
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Fire in the Borgo (detail)
1514
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Fire in the Borgo (detail)
1514
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Fire in the Borgo (detail)
1514
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Fire in the Borgo (detail)
1514
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Battle of Ostia
1514-15
Fresco, width at base 770 cm
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Coronation of Charlemagne
1516-17
Fresco, width at the base 670 cm
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Coronation of Charlemagne (detail)
1516-17
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican


The Oath of Leo III
1516-17
Fresco
Stanza dell'Incendio di Borgo, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican



Summary of works by Raphael
Paintings in Umbria and Florence
up to 1504 | 1505-06 (Florence) | 1507-08 (Florence) | 1505-08 (Umbria)
Decoration of the Stanze
Segnatura | Eliodoro | Borgo | Constantino
Paintings in Rome
1509-12 | 1513-14 | 1515-17 | Loggia | Villa Farnesina | 1518-20
Other
Tapestries and cartoons | Drawings | Architecture



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