Sunday, April 05, 2020

COVID-19 & ART #8: Video Binge - Raphael in Rome

A major exhibition about Raphael opened at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome four days before the Italian lockdown began.

Raphael of Urbino (March 28 or April 6, 1483 – April 6, 1520)

Raffaello opened on 5th March and was due to run until 2nd June 2020. It marks the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance artist’s death and includes important loan.
A monographic exhibition with over two hundred masterpieces among paintings, drawings and comparative works, dedicated to Raffaello on the 500th anniversary of his death, which took place in Rome on April 6, 1520 at the age of just 37 years old.
The exhibition, which finds inspiration particularly in the Raffaello's fundamental Roman period which consecrated him as an artist of incomparable and legendary greatness, tells his whole complex and articulated creative path with richness of detail through a vast corpus of works, for the first time exposed all together.
Self portrait (crop) by Raphael 1499
Ashmolean Museum

Very many loans from premier art galleries around Europe and North America contributed paintings and drawings by Raphael on loan to the exhibition. These included:


  • the National Galleries of Ancient Art, 
  • the National Art Gallery of Bologna, 
  • the Museum and the Real Bosco di Capodimonte, 
  • the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, 
  • the Brescia Museums Foundation

Outside Italy

  • the Vatican Museums, 
  • the Louvre, 
  • the National Gallery of London, 
  • the Prado Museum, 
  • the National Gallery of Art in Washington, 
  • the Albertina in Vienna, 
  • the British Museum, 
  • the Royal Collection, 
  • the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, 
  • the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille.

Videos about Raphael and of the exhibition

Major efforts have been made by the museum, via its YouTube channel,to ensure people can see the exhibition online.

Below are some videos about the exhibition. They're in Italian - but the first has English subtitles.

Raffaello Principe delle arti (Raphael Prince of the arts)

Una passeggiata in mostra (A walk in the exhibition)

This video - of a walk through the exhibition -  has been watched by nearly half a million viewers in the last few days! (see Take a virtual tour of once-in-a-lifetime Raphael show in Rome that closed after four days due to coronavirus)

According to Wikipedia and its sources
Raphael painted several of his works on wood support (Madonna of the Pinks) but he also used canvas (Sistine Madonna) and he was known to employ drying oils such as linseed or walnut oils. His palette was rich and he used almost all of the then available pigments such as ultramarine, lead-tin-yellow, carmine, vermilion, madder lake, verdigris and ochres. In several of his paintings (Ansidei Madonna) he even employed the rare brazilwood lake, metallic powdered gold and even less known metallic powdered bismuth.

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