Vision of a Knight (Raphael)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Vision of a Knight
RAFAEL - Sueño del Caballero (National Gallery de Londres, 1504. Óleo sobre tabla, 17 x 17 cm).jpg
Artist Raphael
Year 1504–1505
Type Egg tempera on poplar
Dimensions 17.1 cm × 17.1 cm (6.7 in × 6.7 in)
Location National Gallery, London

The Vision of a Knight or The Dream of Scipio or Allegory is a small egg tempera painting on poplar by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael, finished in 1504-1505.[1][2] It is in the National Gallery in London. It probably formed a pair with the Three Graces panel, also 17 cm square, now in the Château de Chantilly museum.

There are a number of theories as to what the panel is intended to represent. Some art historians think the sleeping knight represents the Roman general Scipio Africanus (236 - 184 BC) who dreamed that he had to choose between Virtue (behind whom is a steep and rocky path) and Pleasure (in looser robes). However, the two feminine figures are not presented as contestants. They may represent the ideal attributes of the knight: the book, sword and flower which they hold suggest the ideals of scholar, soldier and lover which a knight should combine.

The most likely source for the allegory depicted is from a passage in the Punica, an epic poem recounting the Second Punic War by the Latin poet Silius Italicus.[3]

The panel was moved to England by William Young Ottley in 1800.


  1. ^ Thoenes, Christof, Raphael (2005) Ed. Taschen. pp. 17
  2. ^ Girardi, Monica, Raffaello. La ricerca della perfezione e la tenerezza della natura (1999) Ed. Associati. pp. 31
  3. ^ "Iconography | Studying Raphael | Research | The National Gallery, London". Retrieved 2012-10-17. 

External links[edit]