Galleria Nazionale delle Marche – Palazzo Ducale di Urbino verified

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closed On Raphael's line

Curated by: Anna Cerboni Baiardi, Nello Forti Grazzini

The show

The National Gallery of the Marche, in collaboration with the Vatican Museums and the Mobilier National of Paris, organizes, in the Ducal Palace of Urbino, an exhibition dedicated to Raphael and the world of tapestries, investigating both the contribution that the painter has provided in this sector specific for which he experimented with inventions and made cartoons then woven in Flemish workshops, both the fortune that Raphael's works had over the centuries in the production of tapestries. With twelve grandiose works woven into the best European tapestries, mainly depicting the paintings of the Vatican Rooms, Urbino will be able to exhibit, in the majestic Throne room, all the monumental pictorial work of its most illustrious citizen, the power and classical balance that Raphael achieved in Rome, about 25 years after leaving his hometown. The spaces where Raphael had walked as a child accompanied by his father Giovanni Santi will welcome - in the aftermath of the 500th anniversary of the death of the divine painter and accomplices of the tapestries - his greatest work, created in Rome for the popes, appreciated by artists, critics, connoisseurs and tourists of all ages.
The success achieved by the woven images, re-proposed in different eras and manufactures, is fully part of the theme of fortune that the artist from Urbino has known over the centuries. An approval that is an integral part of the general consensus that Raphael reached while he was still alive. Inexhaustible models of forms and inventions, Raphael's works have reached the most disparate contexts, thanks to the work of numerous engravers who with their carvings have allowed them to be rapidly spread. Raphael had offered his fundamental contribution to the diffusion of the engraving practices with which he had guaranteed considerable publicity; the engraving would have paid off over the centuries by making him the most translated author of all time. In fact, the same thing happened with the tapestries: his cartoons ennobled this artistic genre which, later on, contributed to the consolidation and enrichment of his fortune.
The Urbino exhibition follows the research on the irradiation of Sanzio's work, verifying its success in the specific field of tapestry. Spectacular is the view that the spectator will have upon entering the throne room of Federico di Montefeltro's palace: thanks to the installation curated by the architects of the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, he will find the famous frescoes that Raphael painted in Rome, here proposed in the colors and intertwining of plots. Eleven of the tapestries on display come from the Mobilier National in Paris and testify how France, more than any other country, under the reign of Louis XIV (but then until the nineteenth century), had a real veneration towards Raphael, the conceive the "crazy" project of recreating as a tapestry in Paris, in several replicas, the most famous frescoes of Urbinate, using - for this purpose - on the one hand the French painters of the French Academy residing in Rome to copy the prototypes live on the other hand the extraordinary skill of the tapestry makers Colbert framed under the aegis of the Gobelins factory, opened in Paris and active exclusively for royal commissions, where many of the tapestries were woven.
The National Gallery of the Marche has contributed not only to the knowledge of this refined art, but also to the conservation of precious fabrics, financially supporting the restoration of some of the pieces lent by the Mobilier National in Paris. The entire study underlying the exhibition, with a broad overview of the production of tapestries linked to the Raphaelesque universe, is exhibited in an exhaustive manner in the rich catalog, curated by Anna Cerboni Baiardi and Nello Forti Grazini, published by Silvana Editoriale.

Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Piazza Rinascimento 13
61029 Urbino


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