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Volume 40, 2019

Douglas P. Lackey
Pages 219-234

The Jurisprudence Fresco in the Stanza della Segnatura
Correcting a Prevalent Error

Information cards in the Vatican Museum and many guidebooks and scholarly works identify the small putti in Raphael’s Jurisprudence fresco as the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. The identification is demonstrably incorrect, and the error can be traced to a short article by Edgar Wind published in the 1930s. Wind’s arguments are considered and rejected. The putti are decorative, not allegorical.