Leo’s Temptation: Raphael’s Ezekiel Panel as Quadretto?
Christa Gardner von Teuffel
Associate Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of the Renaissance and Court Cultures, University of Warwick
This paper discusses the etymology and manifold functions of the quadretto. A small panel in oil, it played an important, but still ill-defined role in the production of the finished commission. The Vision of Ezekiel at Florence, designed by Raphael and executed by Giulio Romano, is fundamental to this discussion. Did it serve in the preparatory process for the tapestry at Madrid? Was the refined colored composition for the papal letto de paramento an essential tool for informing Pope Leo X? What was its relationship to the Boughton House cartoon, and other versions of this subject? The more fully documented working procedures of Raphael’s pupils, Giulio and Polidoro da Caravaggio, help in the resolution of these questions. The Ezekiel likely served to tempt Leo to commission one of Raphael’s most mysterious and least understood masterpieces.