The Meeting of Leo the Great and Attila

The Meeting of Leo the Great and Attila
Artist Raphael
Year 1514
Medium Fresco
Location Apostolic Palace, Vatican City

This is another fresco created by Raphael and his apprentice, Giulio Romano, in 1514 for the Stanza di Eliodoro. It depicts how Pope Leo the Great was able to prevent the entry and invasion of Rome by Attila the Hun and his army in 452 AD. Legend told that the late pope was able to maintain such peace through the divine intervention of Saint Peter and Paul.

This was clearly depicted in the painting with the defenders of the Eternal City on one side, while the Mongols on horseback appear to be scared and moving backwards at one side. The source of fear by Attila and his company is the view of the two saints holding swords.

The picture is very cinematic but art critics mention that the painting is fragmented and very divisive.