The treat of the coronavirus still hasn’t decreased although a significant decline of the spread is happening slowly. That being said, numerous cultural institutions are considering opening their doors in the upcoming period under the controlled circumstance of course, but in the meantime, they have enabled their visitors to experience their lead exhibitions online.
Such is the case with the blockbuster survey devoted to the ultimate Old master, Raphael Sanzio at Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome. In light of the 500th anniversary of his death, this ambitious project includes more than two hundred artifacts to bring closer the astonishing story about one of the memorable Renaissance painter.
The decision to organize this exhibition in Rome is rooted in the fact Raphael’s career boomed in that city where he eventually died tragically at the age of 37. The selection of paintings, drawings, tapestries, and architectural projects will be followed by the works that were made at approximately the same period and were inspired by Raphael.
Raphael 1520 - 1483 is jointly organized by the Scuderie del Quirinale and the Uffizi Gallery, under the curation of Marzia Faietti and Matteo Lafranconi with the assistance of Vincenzo Farinella and Francesco Paolo Di Teodoro.
The innovative approach in treating and presenting the artifacts manifests with the backward path starting from the artist’s death on 6 April 1520 back to all the crucial aspects of his career that made him the most prolific master of his time. The project is a peak of a wider institutional celebration of the year of Raphael in Rome.
One of the curators, Marzia Faietti, stated:
Becoming interested in Raphael is very easy: that’s because the artist from Urbino is the author of art which is complex, but at the same time capable of communicating with everyone. His painting is so meditated, thoughtful and sublimated, it contains so many layered levels of interpretation that every observer, from novice to the most cultured, has the opportunity to admire it and admire its different aspects and qualities. Raphael is an artist for everyone.
This grandiose survey features masterpieces loaned from the international public and private collections including the Madonna del Granduca and Woman with a Veil from the Uffizi and the great altarpiece of St Cecilia from the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna; the Portrait of Baldassarre Castiglione and the Self-portrait with a Friend from the Louvre; Alba Madonna from the National Gallery in Washington; the Madonna of the Rose from the Prado or the Tempi Madonna from the Alte Pinakothek in Munich.
The portraits of the two popes who were Raphael’s patrons and enabled him to express fully his artistic potential can be seen for the first time at the same venue, and those are of Leo X with the cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi from the Uffizi, and Julius II from the National Gallery in London.
This exhibition tends to underline the timelessness and the universal significance of Raphael's art, especially the role it had in forming the western art canon.
Raphael 1520 - 1483 is scheduled to be on display at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome from 2 June until 30 August, 2020, while the virtual tour of the through the exhibition is available on the venue’s YouTube channel and is a major contribution to initiative Culture never stops! launched by the Italian Ministry of culture in this time of crisis.
Featured image: Manufactured by Peter van Aelst. The Sacrifice of Lystra, 1517-1519. Tapestry, wool, silk and golden silver / Wool, silk and gilded silver tapestry. Vatican City, Vatican Museums, Vatican Art Gallery, Raphael's Hall. Photo © S. C. V. Governorate - Museum Management; Left: Raphael - Our Lady of the Rose Madonna of the Rose, 1518-1520. Oil on panel transferred to canvas. Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado © 2020. Image copyright Museum Nacional del Prado / Right: Raphael - Ecstasy of St. Cecilia (St. Cecilia with the saints Paul, John the Evangelist, Augustine and Mary Magdalene), before 1518. Panel transferred to canvas. Bologna, Polo Museale dell’Emilia Romagna, Pinacoteca Nazionale. With permission from the Ministry of Property and Cultural and Tourism Activities, Polo Museum of Emilia Romagna.