Image of Sylvester Stallone spotted in 500-year-old painting by Raphael

Updated: 11 May 2012
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Rocky Frescoa ... Sylvester Stallone as Rocky and, right, his likeness in painting
 
A VISITOR to the Vatican was shocked to discover that one of the artistic masterpieces contained a dead ringer for Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone.
 
The likeness of the screen hardman, best known for playing boxing underdog Rocky, appears in the background of a 1511 fresco by Old Master Raphael.
 
The artwork is displayed in one of the Raphael Rooms at the Catholic city-state inside the boundaries of Rome, Italy.
 
Called The Cardinal and Theological Virtues, it shows Pope Gregory IX approving new Papal laws.
 
The hilarious likeness was spotted by Harvard student Anthony Zonfrell, 20, who was on holiday in Italy with his family.
 
He said: “My cousin had told us about how she had seen it when she went, so we were on the lookout.
 
“As soon as we saw the painting, we knew it was him. My whole family thought it was hilarious. It could actually be a portrait of Stallone.”
 
Likeness ... Stallone double in Raphael painting

Artist Raphael, who lived from 1483 until 1520, is thought to have sketched the outline for the artwork before another painter completed the detail.
 
When Anthony, of Massachusetts, US, returned from his trip he uploaded the snap onto humour website Reddit.
 
And the snap soon become an online sensation, being viewed more than 700,000 times.3
 
Anthony added: “I posted it at night, and when I woke up it was on the front page.
 
"I was shocked at the response it got, it really blew up quite fast. All of the comments were hilarious.”
 
SOURCE: thesun.co.uk
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