The Archangel Raphael Refusing Tobiasís Gift

The drawing is a primo pensiero (first thought) for one of Biliverti's most celebrated works, The Archangel Raphael Refusing Tobiasís Gift, painted in 1622 for the Florentine Filippo Comi and now in the Palatine Gallery, Florence. The painting depicts the moment when Raphael, traveling companion for Tobias, Tobit's son, refuses Tobit's gifts for his help and reveals himself as an archangel. Such paintings reflect the counter-Reformation interest in guardian angels, and this subject was frequently commissioned when a child left home to travel. The composition in this drawing is broadly similar to that used in the final painting, but in reverse, and the grand interior setting is eliminated.

Red chalk, brush with red wash (1622)

by Giovanni Biliverti (Italian, 1584-1644)

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