Raphael, 'The Healing of the Lame Man'
Bodycolour over charcoal underdrawing on paper, mounted on canvas
Height 342 cm x width 536 cm
On loan from HM Queen Elizabeth II; rcin 912946
'Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter saith, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.'
A crowd is gathered at the gate of the Temple in Jerusalem. At the centre stands Peter (bearded, in a blue and yellow robe), healing the lame man, while John the Evangelist (the youthful figure in a salmon-coloured robe) looks on. This act symbolises Peter's spiritual healing and conversion of the Jews. Taken together with The Conversion of the Proconsul, it illustrates the different missions of Peter and Paul; whereas Peter's mission is to convert the Jews, Paul's is to convert the Gentiles.
Raphael based the ornate, twisted columns on antique examples in St Peter's Basilica in Rome. At the time, they were thought to have come from Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.