Creation of the World (Raphael)
Creation of the World is a mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

 in the dome of the Chigi Chapel
Chigi Chapel
The Chigi Chapel is one of six chapels in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, Piazza del Popolo, Rome. The Chigi chapel, the second on the left-hand side of the nave, was designed by Raphael as a private chapel for his friend and patron Sienese banker Agostino Chigi, then completed by Gian...

 in Santa Maria del Popolo
Santa Maria del Popolo
Santa Maria del Popolo is an Augustinian church located in Rome, Italy.It stands to the north side of the Piazza del Popolo, one of the most famous squares in the city. The Piazza is situated between the ancient Porta Flaminia and the park of the Pincio...

, Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, designed by Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...


The Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo was designed by Raphael for his friend and patron, banker Agostino Chigi
Agostino Chigi
Agostino Andrea Chigi was an Italian banker and patron of the Renaissance.Born in Siena, he was the son of the prominent banker Mariano Chigi, a member of an ancient and illustrious house. He moved to Rome around 1487, collaborating with his father...

 as a private chapel and family burial place. The dome of the church was decorated with mosaics, a somewhat unusual and old-fashioned technique in the 16th century. Raphael's cartoons were executed by a Venetian craftsman, Luigi di Pace in 1516.

The mosaic panels are situated between the golden stuccoes of the dome. Seven images show the personifications of the know six planets and a zodiac in front of the blue background. Every planet is held by winged angels. The eights panel represents the star studded sky, also held by an angel.

In the central medaillon we can see God in the act of creating the World. The central figure is surrounded by playful putti. The mosaic is somewhat resembling to Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

's famous fresco in the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

, the Creation
Sistine Chapel ceiling
The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, at the commission of Pope Julius II, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the large Papal Chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV after whom it is named...

which was painted only five years before the Chigi mosaics of Raphael, and certainly gave inspiration for the artist.

The mosaics of the Chigi Chapel are the only known mosaic works of Raphael, and notable examples of High Renaissance mosaic art.
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