Artibus et Historiae no. 48 (XXIV)

2003, ISSN 0391-9064

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RONA GOFFEN - Raphael Designer's Labels: From the Virgin Mary to La Fornarina

The way in which Raphael signed his paintings signified much more than a declaration of authorship. Of course, the choice of words is meaningful in itself, but even more than the wording, Raphael exploited the placement of his signature within the composition to express his piety, his professional ambition, and his sense of accomplishment. In particular, those signatures written on the garments of various personages are significant precisely because a name written on a figure in that way is usually taken to identify that person, not the maker of the image. Taken together, the inscriptions almost constitute an autobiography, culminating with Raphael's last signature, on the armband of La Fornarina.

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