The fresco of the prophet Isaiah, in the church of Sant' Agostino, was painted by Raphael in 1512 as part of the funerary monument of Johannes Goritz.
Above Isaiah is an inscription in Greek, which translates: 'To St Anne, mother of the Virgin; to the Virgin, mother of God; to Christ the Saviour. Johannes Coricius'.
The prophet holds a scroll with a text in Hebrew, which translates: 'Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in' (Isaiah 26:2 KJV).
The story goes that Goritz complained to Michelangelo about being overcharged for the fresco, which is clearly influenced by the latter's work in the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo's response was simply to declare that the knee alone was worth the fee!
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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