RAPHAEL 500 YEARS – After Leonardo da Vinci’ s memorial in 2019, the new year will be dedicated to Raphael’s 500th anniversary, who passed away on April 6th, 1520, at only 37. In Italy, the most important exhibition will be held in Rome, where he spent the last ten years of his intense and fruitful life. More exhibits in Urbino – were he was born, and in Milan.

As a child, he started to acquire the art of painting in his father workshop in Urbino, then he went to Perugia, where he carried on his training with Perugino. Moved to Florence in 1504, here he learnt from Fra Bartolomeo and was exposed to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, creating his own style.

In 1508 Raffaello is in Rome, where he first works at the service of Pope Julius II, for whom he frescoes the famous “Stanze” (Rooms) in the Vatican, supported by a well-organized workshop. He also works for Agostino Chigi at Villa Farnesina. Under the new Pope, Leo X, he’s appointed superintendent of Antiquities.

Good-looking, amicable, in love with life and with women, he dies prematurely of a fever provoked by ‘a night of excessive sex’. This at least according to Giorgio Vasari’s version. He’s buried inside the Pantheon.

Within the frame of his short life Raphael was able to conquer a place in the ‘holy trinity’ of master Renaissance artists together with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who both made it to their 80es.

He incarnates the ideals of the perfect humanist painter of the High Renaissance: harmony, beauty, with man standing in full dignity at the center of the Universe. Very prolific as a painter, he was also a refined draughtsman, a printer and an architect. His pupils helped to spread his everlasting fame all over Europe.

If you happen to be in Urbino, don’t miss ‘Raphael & his Friends of Urbino” – until January 18thm 2020 – focused on the artistic connections between young Raffaello Sanzio and his colleagues at the small but sophisticated court of Urbino. A good occasion to visit the splendid Palace of the Dukes and the city as well.

Milan showcases Raphael’s huge cartoon for the mythical “School of Athens”, recently restored and on show at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana since March 2019 in a brand-new installation. The experience of viewing from close this enormous work, entirely created by the hands of the great artist is breathtaking.

Finally, Rome, the city Raphael conquered with his divine art and charming personality, will dedicate a major exhibition at the “Scuderie del Quirinale” – the former carriage house and stables of the Quirinal.

From March 5th to June 2nd, 2020, it will be possible to admire an important nucleus of works coming from the Uffizi in Florence, co-organizer of the exhibit, such as the ethereal “Madonna and Goldfinch”, the paired portraits of Maddalena Strozzi and Angelo Doni, the “Self-portrait” Raphael painted at twenty.

From the Louvre (in exchange for the iconic Leonardo’s “Vitruvian Man”) five important pieces, including the Portrait of Baldassar Castiglione. the “Self-portrait with a Friend”, a study for St Catherine of Alexandria.

Besides the universally admired ‘Stanze’, the magnificent rooms Raphael painted inside the Vatican for Pope Julius II and the great Transfiguration, some other unmissable works by Raphael are the sensual “Fornarina” at Palazzo Barberini, most probably representing Raffaello’s mistress, Margherita Luti, the splendid mythologies at Villa Farnesina in Trastevere, the Deposition of Christ at the Borghese Gallery.

If you wish to plan a guided visit to Raphael exhibition, or an itinerary in Rome, please send us an email.