Curated by: Angela Cerasuolo, Andrea Zezza
The Raphael exhibition in Capodimonte: the artist's workshop curated by Angela Cerasuolo and Andrea Zezza opens on Thursday 10 June 2021 at the Museum and Real Bosco di Capodimonte. The exhibition is part of the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the artist's death and aims to enhance the Raphaelesque heritage of the Museum, much richer and more varied than is usually thought. The tour offers the public the novelties that emerged from the diagnostic investigation campaign conducted in the Museum, thanks to important institutional collaborations - at the basis of this exhibition - which will allow an original approach to both the works of art and the work of the workshop of the artist and those of his followers, highlighting the complex work behind the creation of originals, multiples, copies, derivations.
The Museum and Real Bosco di Capodimonte, in fact, preserves some autograph works of great importance, which allow to exemplify the main moments of the artist's career: The Eternal and the Virgin, two fragments of the Altarpiece of San Nicola da Tolentino (1500- 1501) first known work of the seventeen-year-old Raphael, painted for the church of Sant'Agostino in Città di Castello, destroyed at the end of the eighteenth century, the Portrait of Alessandro Farnese (about 1511) the young cardinal who many years later would become the powerful Pope Paul III , Moses and the burning bush (1514) preparatory cartoon executed for the fresco on the vault of the Room of Heliodorus in the Vatican, the Madonna del Divino Amore (1516-18) painted among the most admired by the artist during the sixteenth century, then fallen into oblivion and only recently subtracted, also thanks to scientific investigations and restoration, from the critical misfortune into which it had fallen in the twentieth century.
But Capodimonte also preserves a fundamental work by Giulio Romano, Raphael's main pupil, the Madonna della Gatta (1518-1520 ca.?), Executed following a model by the master, and whose diagnostic investigations help to better understand both the complex executive genesis, as well as the causes of the problems that have made its conservation problematic. A series of copies, derivations, multiples, some of which perhaps elaborated in the artist's own workshop (Madonna del Passeggio, Madonna del Velo), others by the hand of artists of the first magnitude for important clients - this is the case of the famous copy of the Portrait of Leo X by Andrea del Sarto - where the notion of 'copy' runs alongside that of 'false author', and which according to Vasari would have deceived Giulio Romano himself - or perhaps for practice, like the Saint Joseph from the Madonna of the veil made by Daniele da Volterra. These, together with others made by more mechanical copyists (Madonna Bridgewater), allow a wide-ranging exploration of this type of production, which constituted a large part of the work of the workshops of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and which today forms a huge part, even if often neglected, of our artistic heritage.