The object of this collection of prints is to introduce the student to Raphael through the pictures which appeal directly to the imagination with some story interest. With this characteristic as the leading principle of choice, the variety of subjects is perhaps as wide as the conditions admit. No attempt is made to represent all the sides of the painter's art; his portraits are ignored and his Madonnas inadequately represented, in order to give place to pictures which awaken as many points of interest as possible. Within these narrow limits Raphael, as an illustrator and a composer, is even in these few pictures clearly represented.
Had choice been limited to pictures painted throughout by Raphael himself, the value of the collection would have been seriously affected, as some of the master's most interesting works were handed over to his pupils for execution. Our list, however, contains only such works as are at this date reckoned indisputably to be from Raphael's own designs.