Raphael portraitist

Consisting of 14 reproductions, the exhibition dedicated to Raphael the portraitist showcases the artist’s great ability to portray figures.
The portrait of Leo X between two cardinals, Lorenzo de’ Rossi and Giulio de’ Medici, is a masterpiece of physical and psychological truth. The ancient illuminated Bible open on the desk and the lens he clutches in his left hand emphasise the intellectual interests of the humanist Pope.
Other eminent personalities portrayed by Raphael included Fedra Inghirami, the learned Prefect of the Vatican Library. Raphael also painted his friend Baldassare Castiglione, humanist and author of Il Cortegiano, but alongside his male portraits there were also portraits of women. Most notable were those that depicted the great love of his life: Margherita, also known as La Fornarina. Raphael immortalised her in the painting of the same name and in La Velata.

More than any other painter, Raphael was a point of reference for artists who adopted the Urbino master’s models their own. His art soon spread throughout Italy and characterised the figurative art culture of the years to come.