Dec 11
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino - the true universal genius of the High Renaissance - 2 PDF Печат Е-поща
Неделя, 12 Ноември 2017г. 21:36ч.

Raphael, ‘The Massacre of the Innocent’, ca. 1505-1510. Spolvero marks, black chalk, red chalk over a preliminary drawing in stylus. Photo: The Royal Collection / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017* * *

In the Exhibition

The Young Raphael

received his earliest education from his father, the painter Giovanni Santi, who was in the employ of the duke of Urbino, Guidobaldo Montefeltro (1472-1508). Because the young, highly talented artist soon sought to learn more, he went to Perugia around 1494/95 to take up an apprenticeship with Pietro Perugino (1445/1448-1523), whom his father had regarded, along with Leonardo, as one of the shining lights of art. No works by Raphael, however, are known to us from before 1500. In that year, he was already an independent master receiving his first commissions. In the following years he created various works in Umbria, including The Coronation of the Virgin Mary in San Francesco in Perugia, which was still strongly influenced by Perugino. The predella paintings along with the preliminary drawings are presented in this exhibition. In addition to Perugino, Raphael was inspired by the Tuscan painter Luca Signorelli (c.1450-1523) and by Bernardo Pinturicchio (1452-1513).

Raphael, ‘Saint George’, 1505. Oil on wood. Photo: Musée du Louvre, Paris: © RMN-Grand Palais / Jean-Gilles BerizziPinturicchio soon recognized the brilliant ability of the young artist, almost thirty years his junior, to render new spatial concepts and complex actions, and asked Raphael to provide drawings for his frescoes in the Libreria Piccolomini in Siena. They depict scenes from the life of the Humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini (ca.1640-1689), the later Pope Pius II. For the cultivated princely court of Urbino, Raphael probably created the exquisite painting of the Dream of Scipio.

Raphael in Florence

In September 1504 Raphael was still in Urbino, where he received a letter of recommendation written by Giovanna della Rovere (1463-1514), the duke’s sister, to the Florentine gonfalonier, the highest member of the city government of Florence. In this letter, the authenticity of which has occasionally been questioned, Giovanna praised the young painter’s talent and wrote to support his further education in Florence. Raphael wanted to see with his own eyes the two large battle paintings that were being created by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo at the time: The Battle of Anghiari (1505) and The Battle of Cascina (1504). In this city of the arts, he could also model his drawings on the sculptures of Michelangelo, whose powerful, heroic figure ideal deeply impressed him. Raphael particularly studied Leonardo’s paintings and drawings and finally succeeded in creating completely new and absolutely autonomous pictorial concepts. He also appreciated Fra Bartolommeo’s (1472-1517) harmoniously balanced compositions with their monumental, dignified figures. According to Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), Raphael tried to imitate the style of his friend, who, in turn, taught him the laws of perspective. During his stay in Florence, Raphael did not receive any commissions for large fresco decorations, but he created a series of important portraits and Madonna paintings.

Raphael, ‘The Virgin and Child’ (Madonna Colonna), 1508. Oil on poplar. © Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz Foto: Jörg P. AndersThe Entombment

Between 1504 and 1508, Raphael interrupted his stay in Florence several times to return to his hometown of Urbino and to Perugia. In 1507 he painted the Entombment (now in the Galleria Borghese), which Atalanta Baglioni had commissioned for her family chapel in memory of her son Grifonetto Baglioni (1477-1500), who had been killed during a family feud in the summer of 1500.

While Raphael made the first drafts all the way to the final cartoon in Florence, he finished the painting itself in Perugia. The artist had initially intended a Lamentation scene, based on a composition by his teacher Perugino, in which the Saviour’s dead body is lying on the ground and supported by the kneeling Marys. Under the impression of works by Luca Signorelli, Andrea Mantegna (c.1431-1506) and an ancient sarcophagus, however, Raphael changed the composition to make it far more dynamic. Here the body of Christ is carried to the grave in a kind of procession, moving from the right side to the left. The motifs of the bearers, which the artist studied on nude models, are inspired by figures by Michelangelo in the same way as the group of the Three Marys around the Mother of God, who has fallen faint. The three predella grisaille paintings, which depict the theological virtues, are presented in this exhibition. Charity in the centre refers to Atalanta Baglioni’s love for her murdered son and to the virtuous sincerity with which she condemned him for his own bloody deed in this feud.

‘Raphael’ - exhibition view. Photo: © artnovini.comRaphael in Rome -
The Stanza della Segnatura

In the second half of 1508 Raphael went to Rome, where great tasks awaited him. In November of the previous year, Pope Julius II (1443-1513) had moved into an apartment on the top floor of the Vatican Palace because he did not want to live in the chambers of his predecessor, the Borgia Pope Alexander VI (1431-1503), whom he hated. The decoration of the most magnificent parts of the new rooms, for which various artists including Luca Signorelli, Lorenzo Lotto (c. 1480-1556/57), Bramantino (Bartolomeo Suardi; c.1456 - c.1530), Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi; 1477-1549) and Perugino were employed, began in late 1508. Raphael was also commissioned with the creation of a fresco, with which the pope was allegedly so impressed that he had the works by all the other masters removed and entrusted the young artist with the entire decoration of the Stanze (cf. model).

Raphael’s work began in the middle one of the three rooms, which housed Julius II’s private library and where the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura met during the reign of Paul III (1468-1549) to hear matters of clemency.

The themes of the four large mural paintings are defined by the traditional arrangement of the books in accordance with the four university faculties. The fresco of the Disputa refers to the subject of theology, the School of Athens to philosophy, the Parnassus to poetry, and the wall with the three cardinal virtues and the two scenes with the presentation of historical writings on law to jurisprudence.

To the vaulted ceiling previously decorated by Sodoma, Raphael added tondi with female allegorical figures and square scenes in the corners that also refer to the theme of the faculties. The paintings in the Stanza della Segnatura are Raphael’s most famous frescoes and key works of High-Renaissance art.

The Massacre of the Innocents

The genesis of Raphael’s master engraving of The Massacre of the Innocents can be retraced nearly seamlessly on the basis of the extant preliminary drawings. The point of departure is his study for The Judgement of Solomon from which he adopted the executioner and the woman with a child in her arms. Following further elaboration of the scene, the exceptional red-chalk drawing in Windsor Castle depicts the almost final dramatic positioning of the soldiers, who are mercilessly pursuing the women to wrest their children from them. Still blank is the place occupied by a fleeing woman on the left side of the engraving. In the red-chalk drawing in the Albertina, Raphael studied this mother, along with the executioner, on male models. The pen-and-ink drawing in Budapest is the final, finely executed study, which served Marcantonio Raimondi (c.1470/1482 - c.1534) as a model for his engraving. For the background with the Roman Ponte dei Quattro Capi, the artist probably made a separate, now lost, drawing.

Raphael created The Massacre of the Innocents, the first major work of his collaboration with Raimondi, especially for reproduction in the form of an engraving. The centre is occupied by a horrified, mother rushing forward, who represents the fear and unfathomable suffering of all the mothers. The figural pairs arranged around her form a circular movement, rotating anticlockwise up-and-down with increasing momentum.

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Последна промяна от Неделя, 12 Ноември 2017г. 22:33ч.