Raphael’s Renaissance works come to Cleveland for nation’s only showing


CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Museum of Art is the first and only venue in the nation to display Raphael and His Age: Drawings from the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille. The exhibit, which runs Aug. 25 through Nov. 3., features renowned drawings by Raphael.

The Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, France, has one of the major collections of drawings by the Italian Renaissance master Raphael, who worked in Urbino, Florence and Rome.

The free show features 57 drawings, including 25 drawings by Raphael, plus works by Bollicelli, Jacopo da Pontormo, Filippino Lippi, and Fra Bartolommeo.

Rare showing. “This is a rare opportunity to view these works of art – they do not travel from Lille often,” noted Carter E. Foster, the museum’s curator of drawings.

“Raphael was a superior draftsman and these drawings, which are frequently preparations for his paintings, are intimate glimpses into the mind of a genius.”

This exhibition of drawings is the result of the French Regional American Museum Exchange, an initiative of Elizabeth Rohatyn, wife of former U.S. Ambassador to France Felix G. Rohatyn, and the former director of French museums.

Founded in 1999, it is a consortium of nine American and nine French museums created to generate cooperative projects and open their outstanding collections to a wider public in the U.S. and Europe.

Career works. Nearly all the Raphael drawings date from the first half of his 20-year career, from 1503 to approximately 1513. One important group of drawings relates to an altarpiece Raphael executed in 1503, The Coronation of the Virgin.

Another group is the drawings for Raphael’s most important work, the mural-size fresco decorations in the room of the Vatican palace known as the Stanza della Segnatura, commissioned by Pope Julius II.

These paintings are among the most influential and important works of the Renaissance.

More information. For more information on the museum or the exhibit call 1-888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org.

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