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Raphael Drawings

Like many artists, Raphael often made studies in chalk or pen on paper before attempting the final work. He was considered a master draughtsman of his time and, according to a near-contemporary, he would lay out many stock drawings on the floor for him to look over and borrow figures from while he drew “rapidly”. Over 40 study sketches of his Disputa have been found and 400 sketches still exist in total.

He did sketches over and over in order to refine his compositions before they ever went up, to an extent far further than most others. He then turned these drawings into full size cartoons which he used as guides for his paintings by pricking a pin along the lines of the drawing and “pouncing” them with soot to leave a dotted line as a guide. He also apparently used a “blind stylus” which would leave an indentation but no mark to assist him in sticking to his original design.