RAFFAELLO 1520-1483 - the incredible Exhibition of Raffaello Sanzio’s Life and Art opened in Rome on 3/3/2020 but closed on 5/3/2020 because of Coronavirus, will reopen on 2/6/2020 until 31/08/2020. To this Commemoration of 500 years from his death, unseen by most of us, only a magnificent Catalogue in Italian has been left.
“This film presents an intimate introduction to the superb exhibition of Raphael’s work that has been on display behind closed doors in Rome since March 2020. While the organisers are hoping to extend the length of the display, to allow the public to see these assembled treasures, Dr. Rosa Maria Letts provides us here with an opportunity to see and to reflect on some of the works that have been assembled, and to think about the new aspects of Raphael as an artist that the exhibition brings to light. Not least of these is the discovery during restoration of the remarkable figures of Justice and Love depicted in the Vatican Sala di Constantino in Raphael’s own hand, which were previously thought to be the work of his followers. Some of his exquisitely sensitive portraits are all discussed, in intelligent commentary infused with an evident and infectious love of the matter in hand. But what made the deepest impression on me were his drawings, shown here to superb effect alongside their respective paintings. It is in the drawings that we see his true genius and vision.”
Valery Rees, May 2020
“A chance to get a tantalising flavour of this fascinating exhibition, which was only open for two days before Covid19 caused its closure. Rosa Maria picks out its highlights, including some of the new discoveries made during the restoration of the Vatican's Sala di Constantino. The video offers a chance to study details of some of the paintings and even more of the drawings, reminding us just how exquisite they are.”
In anticipation of the reopening in the V&A of the Raphael Cartoons Gallery, which has been under restoration for nearly a year, we narrate the story of the seven Cartoons commissioned in 1515 by Pope Leo X Medici, for Tapestries to be hung in the Sistine Chapel. This was the Pope’s Chapel, used during the most important religious, political and social events of a Pontificate.
Their design had to be dramatic, imposing, unique but rendered by the Tapestry Maker chosen, in this case Pieter van Aelst from Brussels, "The Tapissier du Roy" (the Kings’ Weaver) used by all European Kings, Emperor, aristocrats of the 16 C.
Inspired by the Acts of the Apostles and created during the summit of Raphael's artistic career, he was able to see their realisation in December 1519. He died three months later.
Joshua Reynolds wrote "the most considerable and most esteemed works of Raffaello, are his Fresco Pictures in the Vatican and his Cartoons in England…", Discourses 1778 and John Pope Hennessy described as "the main scenes in the History of early Christianity interpreted by one of the world’s greatest artists in his full maturity." London 1950
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