The myth of Raphael through the eyes of Giuseppe Bossi, in his drawings and in his collection, including works on paper and majolica. How was the legacy of the genius from Urbino collected, preserved, handed down by the painter, writer and collector?
Through what models and following which subjects did the decorative arts develop and were influenced?
The exhibition and publishing project starts from the collections of the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, on the one hand celebrating Raphael, on the five hundredth anniversary of his death, and on the other, narrating the figure of an artist and intellectual who still offers ideas of great novelty. Starting from a precious nucleus of works, the exhibition aims to bring to the attention of the visitor a particular aspect of Raphael's fortune in Milan between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century: reception through art, taste collector and the writings of a prominent personality at that time.
The path develops from a selection of drawings made by Giuseppe Bossi (1777-1815) and inspired both by works by Raphael, in which imitation is not limited to the subject and compositional modalities but embraces the technique, and to some sheets today recognized as ancient copies but considered original at the time. In particular, a review of the papers from the artist's maturity period highlights, with respect to his youth activity with life copies of the frescoes in the Vatican Rooms, a personal reworking according to a stylistic code of great modernity.
In these drawings recur subjects, such as cherubs and cupids, which the visitor has the opportunity to recognize also in the engravings by Marcantonio Raimondi made to a design by Raphael, kept in the Bertarelli Collection which preserves some very rare proofs, and in a series of historiated majolica Raphaelesque-inspired renaissance paintings, exhibited with a view to comparing the materials of the collections and selected as particularly significant examples of the dynamics of inspiration, circulation and reception of models.
Giuseppe Bossi and Raffaello at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan stands as a dialogue between materials, techniques, centuries and sensitivity, through drawings, engraved models and applied arts and as a possibility for the public to approach and discover, once more, the heritage artistic historian of the Castello Sforzesco through its extraordinarily various collections, both in presence and online.
On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition, in fact, through the GraficheinComune portal, the Cabinet of Drawings of the Castle makes available for online consultation the catalog of all the drawings by Giuseppe Bossi preserved in the collection and, in the same location, the Collection of Prints “A. Bertarelli "will publish the inventory of the large corpus of engravings by Raphael for a total of about 1000 images.
The exhibition is curated by Claudio Salsi with the collaboration of Alessia Alberti, Giovanna Mori, Francesca Tasso, and with a scientific committee formed by Rosalba Antonelli, Raffaella Ausenda and Silvio Mara.