Biggest-ever Raphael show on 500th anniversary of death

200 masterworks at Scuderie del Quirinale on March 5-June 2

(ANSA) - Rome, February 24 - An unprecedented exhibit on Raphael in Rome will crown global celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of the death of the genius from Urbino.
    Over 70,000 tickets have already been booked or sold ahead of the opening on March 5 at the Scuderie del Quirinale exhibition space despite the fact that Italy is currently struggling to contain Europe's biggest outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
    The show, which wraps up on June 2, will be the biggest ever monographic exhibition on the Renaissance master, featuring over 200 masterpieces including paintings and sketches as well as comparison works.
    "It is the largest exhibit ever organized on Raphael", said Mario De Simoni, president and CEO of Ales Scuderie del Quirinale, during the show's presentation on Monday. Raphael died on April 6, 1520 at the age of 37.
    The works in the show have never been gathered in the same place before.
    The exhibit was organized in collaboration with Florence's Uffizi Gallery, which is sending several masterworks that have never been on display in Rome before. A total of 52 art institutions have contributed to the show, which was organized after three years of studies and restoration work - including one of the famed portrait of Pope Leo X - carried out by a team of art historians and curators including Marzia Faietti and Matteo Lanfranconi.
    The show is entitled Raphael.
    It will include the Madonna del Granduca and Woman with a Veil from the Uffizi; the Portrait of Baldassarre Castiglione and Self-Portrait with Friend from the Louvre and the Madonna of the Rose from the Prado.
    It will offer visitors the opportunity to view art starting from Raphael's death and his monumental tomb in the Pantheon in Rome, with over 200 masterworks that have been insured for a record four billion euros.
    "It is first of all a scientific project", a "great opportunity for intellectual in-depth study" and "not just a marvel for the eyes", said De Simoni.
    "Never since Raphael's death have so many works returned to Rome", said Uffizi director Eike Schmidt.
    The two institutions have collaborated for the show as well as a "completion of the visit to the exceptional exhibit in Rome", organizers said, announcing that the Uffizi is offering a 33% discount on tickets to those who have visited the Rome show and vice versa the Scuderie will offer the same discount to those who have previously visited the Uffizi.
    Schmidt said visitors of the exhibit in Rome "must absolutely come to Florence" to complete the experience by admiring Raphael's masterworks at the Uffizi, in the new room dedicated to the artist, or vice versa visit Rome after touring the Florentine gallery.


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