By Siddhi Jain
New Delhi, June 16 (IANSlife) An online exhibition commemorating the 500th death anniversary of master painter Raphael, is live until June 28. The architect of Italian High Renaissance was one of the most influential and naturally gifted artists in the history of the world of art and architecture.
To mark the occasion, a webinar on the life and works of the great master, as well as a virtual tour of the art works currently on display at a major exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome which brings together numerous artworks from many different museums, has been organised by the India International Centre, New Delhi, Italian Embassy Cultural Centre and Bell’Italia 88.
Raphael, born Raffaello Sanzio, was crowned the “Prince of Painters” by Giorgio Vasari, a sixteenth-century biographer of artists. For centuries he has been recognized as the supreme High Renaissance painter, more versatile than Michelangelo and more prolific than their older contemporary Leonardo da Vinci.
This exhibition celebrates the artist’s enduring legacy featuring a selection of 26 paintings from Raphael’s early period to the Florentine years and ending with the Roman period.
The physical exhibition in Rome opens with a reconstruction of Raphael’s tomb and the ‘Altar of Our Lady of the Rock’ from the Pantheon. Raphael’s sketches show his evident admiration for the Pantheon’s interior, as do his writings, quoted on the walls.
The next section examines Raphael’s relationship with Ancient Rome, an artist who, his contemporaries believed, inherited the genius of antiquity’s great artists. Raphael’s sketches of antiquities, exhibited alongside the artefacts he drew, are one of this section’s most charming features. However, the real standouts are his oil paintings ‘Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (1514-1515’) and ‘Portrait of Leo X (1518-1519)’.
The largest section displays Raphael’s great commissions from Leo X, which he accepted between 1513 and 1521; when he made his name across Italy, and throughout the courts of Europe. Raphael’s lasting influence on Roman art is found in his young and nude ‘St John The Baptist (1518)’, an evident inspiration for Caravaggio’s ‘John the Baptist’, or ‘Youth with a Ram (1602)’ – the boys even share the same nose, and curly hair. ‘The Visitation (1517); depicts the Virgin Mary’s visit to St Elizabeth, and encapsulates Raphael’s innate sprezzatura, that is, a nonchalant mastery of grace.
Though he died at 37, Raphael’s examples as a paragon of classicism dominated the academic tradition of European painting until the mid-19th century.
Visit the exhibition at iicdelhi.nic.in.
(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at [email protected])