Essays in this volume examine the intellectual and cultural history of sixteenth-century Rome and Florence that have made it possible to set Raphael in the context of his patrons and his other contemporaries.
They demonstrate Raphael's considerable skills as the manager of the largest workshop of his day, one that provided a model for many artists who followed him."--Jacket"Five centuries ago a stunningly beautiful young man, heir to a banking fortune, sat for a portrait by Raphael.
It’s currently on view in San Francisco at the Legion of Honor after a run at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
In conjunction with the exhibition, a catalogue, out this winter from D Giles Limited, explores the curious history of the portrait, and considers the identity of its enigmatic figure.
Over two hundred of Raphael's fine paintings and drawings are illustrated, accompanied by an accessible yet highly informative text by the distinguished Renaissance scholar Bette Talvacchia.
The author also explores Raphael's artistic relationships with such Renaissance masters as Leonardo and Michelangelo, culminating in a brilliant account of his masterpieces done in Rome under the patronage of popes Julius II and Leo X"This companion volume provides a timely reassessment of Raphael, the rare painter who has never gone out of fashion, and addresses the interests of recent scholarship, which has changed the focus from concerns with attribution and definition of the artist's style and the High Renaissance to more practical matters.Only in the 20th century — with extensive X-ray examination — were these forgotten layers revealed, although the subject with her stoic blue eyes remains a mystery.For the first time, the painting is on tour in the United States from its home at the Galleria Borghese in Rome.In another essay, Renaissance scholar Mary Shay-Millea presents her case for it being Maddalena Strozzi due to a convincing resemblance in a contemporary portrait.In both cases, it’s likely the painting was commissioned on the occasion of a marriage, and the unicorn a symbol of the bride’s chastity.“The inclusion of the unicorn in Raphael’s ‘Lady’ both advertises the sitter’s purity and warns her future husband of her powers of seduction,” Shay-Millea writes.Catherine of Alexandria was painted over the mythical creature.Through these later changes, the painting was transformed from an oil portrait into a religious icon.This is followed by an introductory text and an overview of the various media he used - panel painting, fresco, graphics, architecture.There is an appendix with a chronological timeline (artworks, biography, historical events) and a guide to the location of Raphael's most important artwork today.In the artist's dynamic conception, Bindo Altoviti turns as if to speak to his Florentine bride, Fiammetta.Ardently admired over the years, as it is today, Raphael's portrait was also coolly received by more than one influential critic who cast a shadow on its reputation.