On the 500th anniversary since Raphael’s death
To celebrate the 500th anniversary since Raphael’s death, Magister Raffaello aims to retrace the career of this great master. However, it was a short career: born in Urbino, in central Italy, in 1483, he died, aged 37, in Rome in 1520.
The exhibition has been conceived as a journey where the visitor can retrace Raphael’s life, discovering the cities where he lived and the masterpieces he created. Inspired by the fundamental work of the Raphael’s Rooms, i.e. the monumental work in the apartment of the then reigning pope, we have organized our exhibition into six “rooms”, metaphorically following Raphael in a path of human and professional growth, which is revealed in his artworks.
An educational path to explore Raphael’s life and artworks, the renaissance workshops, the cities, the masters, the evolution of his technique.
The exhibition itinerary, which also includes educational content specifically designed for children, comprises six thematic areas. Each area is characterized by its unique settings and contents.
A UNIQUE ARTIST
THE FABULOUS YOUNG MAN
In the first area, we immediately meet the great master through his self-portrait, on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and reproduced here on a 1:1 scale, flanked by a chronological synthesis of the fundamental moments in Raphael’s life. His self-portrait seems almost to observe and metaphorically retrace his life, through those Italian renaissance cities that marked his path as a man and artist. The young man who inherited the workshop from his prematurely deceased father, being also motherless, was forced to leave his native Urbino soon, to go first to Città di Castello, later to Florence, concluding then his incredible artistic journey in Rome.
The installation in this area gives a visual synthesis: a collage of suggestions, seemingly chaotic and multicolored, which reveal themselves to the visitor only when they are reached by the right light…
In the second area, the small painting, by a still unknown author but contemporary to Raphael, and known as The Ideal City, invites us to start our journey from Urbino to reach Città di Castello. The great masterpiece of Italian art represents the paradigm of the cultural and artistic climate to which Raphael was exposed from a very young age, i.e. the Montefeltro court in Urbino. This work inspired the young Raphael who represented it in his first masterpiece: “The Marriage of the Virgin”, painted in Città di Castello. In this work, he competed immediately with his master Perugino. On the screen, in a tight comparison, the two works are analyzed: tesserae and details immediately convey the creative greatness and stylistic mastery of the young Raphael.
While in Florence, Raphael was charged with honoring the tragically deceased son of the rich Florentine Baglioni family. In an exciting investigation, the images in this area tell us about the revolution accomplished by the master in recounting the Deposition of Christ: it is the dead young Grifonetto Baglioni himself who holds the sheet with the body of Christ in a dramatic and, at the same time, lyrical sequence. This work will leave an indelible mark in the history of symbolic and religious representation.
THE NOBLE SPIRITUALITY
As in a real museum, the visitor is welcomed by an admirable collection of Raphael’s works. These works were commissioned by secular and religious customers: female and male portraits and madonnas. The two monitors show details from the portraits of the Doni couple, who also commissioned Michelangelo, and the admirable composition of the Madonna of the Goldfinch, through tight blow-ups.
THE PAPAL APARTMENTS
In Rome, Raphael had good connections and all doors were open to him, thanks to his talent and ability. The School of Athens, the Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple and the Fire in the Borgo are works that had never been seen before in Western art, executed by the master and his tireless workshop. Following the Vatican commissions by two glorious Pontiffs, Raphael completed an absolute in the history of Italian art. In the exhibition these works are presented to us in three adjoining spaces where the two Popes stand out in two special shrines, in the portraits that the master had dedicated to them. It is a magical tale where philosophy, psychology, theology, architecture and other arts and sciences are presented in a unique composition: where the artist, in order to be such, must know also the other arts.
UTOPIA AND POWER
Raphael’s journey metaphorically ends with The Transfiguration. This is the last extraordinary painting/work that the exhibition recounts: it symbolizes the premature end of a life made of light and shadow, lived with a rare intensity. Understanding that these were the last hours of the master’s life, his best students brought this work close to his bed as if to allow the master to say goodbye to his art, while “looking” at the kingdom of heaven. He was given an important funeral and an equally symbolic burial in the Pantheon in Rome, considering Raphael as a divine and mythical spirit. Precisely for this reason, the work is placed at the end of this exhibition to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the death of the Urbino master.
The texts and illustrations in the audioguide for children are original creations by Eva Montanari, author and illustrator who has been publishing children’s books all over the world since 2000.
Young “aspiring artists” who want to follow in Raphael’s footsteps can try their hand at colouring some drawings made by Eva.
Let your creativity run free: download the drawings, colour them, share a photo on social media using the hashtags #Raffaello500 # Raffaello2020 #MagisterRaffaello #RaffaelloInMostra and tag us on Instagram and Facebook @magister_art
Magister Art has developed an innovative audio/video synchronization system for a better exhibition experience: Magister Art Player. In the exhibition, the video contents run on a continuous loop. With this new system, as soon as the visitors enter one of the rooms, they connect to the audio signal at the exact point in the narration in the desired language.
The Magister Art App, available in Italian, English and Spanish and also in the local language upon request, allows visitors to listen to or read the story narrated in the exhibition videos.
The system offers maximum flexibility. In fact, the Magister Art app works both through the audio-guide devices included in the exhibition kit – the Magister Art Box, and as an app downloadable for free onto visitor’s smartphone.
Art historian, expert in Renaissance painting and sculpture, he has conceived and organized important exhibitions in Italy and abroad
Experienced manager in the promotion of cultural heritage; film-maker and composer
Professor at Institut für Kunst- und Bildgeschichte (IKB) der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Director of the Vatican Museums
Professor in the department of Art History and Entertainment, La Sapienza University of Rome
PIETRO DI LORETO
Writer, Journalist and Director of web magazine aboutartonline.com
“The Ideal Renaissance City”
3D Camera Mapping
Master of Digital Architecture IUAV-University of Venice
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Founder, CEO and Creative Supervisor
Exhibition Design Director
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Children’s Writer & Illustrator
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