Duhaime's LawGallery - The Law In Pictures


Justinian Receiving the Corpus from Trobinian

  • Object type: Painting
  • Formal Title: Justinian Receiving the Pandects (civil laws) from Trebonian
  • Creator: Lorenzo Lotto
  • Date Created: 1511
  • Origin: The Vatican
  • Current Location: The Vatican Museum

This fresco was executed by Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1556) based on Raphael's drawing.

Presently housed in the Chapel of Urban VIII, The Vatican, the image is of Justinian receiving from his trusted jurist Tribonian, the Corpus Juris Civilis (which included a digest component, called "pandects"), an essential part of Justinian's Roman law consolidation effort of 533 AD.

Raphael (1483-1520) drew the image but left the painting to Lotto. In the Vatican rooms that the fresco is based (Stanza della Segnatura or Room of the Signatura), or just Raphael' stanze, Raphael attempted to set out the important events and people in the history of the world up to that time (1511). All saw Justinian's consolidation for what it was: a monumental contribution to law and order throughout Europe.

Raphael was one of the greatest painters ever - along with Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The painting is one of a set which, together, Raphael wanted to:

"... illustrate the three highest categories of the human spirit: truth, goodness and beauty."


Guide to the Vatican (Vatican City: Edizioni Musei Vaticani,, 2005), page 93-95.


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