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Elijah and the Chariot of Fire

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Elijah and the Chariot of Fire about 1565

Not on display

This drawing shows the Old Testament prophet Elijah being borne aloft to heaven on a miraculous chariot of fire. The Biblical account makes no mention of the charioteer that accompanies Elijah here. Farinati made this drawing in preparation for a large fresco that he had been commissioned to paint in the Marogna family chapel in the church of San Paolo in Campo Marzio, Verona. The dramatic swoop of the chariot and horses and the billowing clouds demonstrate Farinati at his theatrical best. Apart from a few minor alterations, this drawing is very close to the final fresco. He even indicated the real architecture of the chapel projecting into the picture field at either side. The handling of this drawing is unusually loose compared to other compositional designs by Farinati.

Glossary Open


A wall painting applied to fresh, wet plaster so that the coloured pigment is absorbed into the surface of the wall.



  • Acc. No. RSA 154
  • Medium Pen, ink and wash over black chalk, heightened with white on paper, laid down
  • Size 41.60 x 26.30 cm
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy on loan 1966