Meet Raphael: Masterpieces from Renaissance to Neoclassicism
Updated 23:01, 12-Jul-2021
Ding Siyue

Masterpieces by one of the most important artists of the Renaissance period, Raphael, are on exhibit at the Guardian Art Center in Beijing.

Italian painter Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael, is dubbed one of "The Trinity of Great Men of the Renaissance." He was a major figure in one of the most important movements in the history of human civilization. 

The exhibition "Meet Raphael: Masterpieces from Renaissance to Neoclassicism" expounds in detail how the artist established his norms of beauty. The nine sections include Raphael's life experience, artistic style and how he inspired later artists to create Baroque style and neoclassicism.

The arrangement of the exhibition is based on Raphael's artistic achievements, including early apprenticeship, style shaping, artistic peaks and architectural achievements, said Kong Bochuan, executive curator of the exhibition.

"It is also interspersed with artists who adhere to Raphael's rules, showing how they applied Raphael's law of beauty into their own creative style, and created a new school of painting," she added. 

A multimedia hall is dedicated to Raphael's classic "The School of Athens." The fresco shows a place that never existed, a symbol of the philosophical school imagined by Raphael as an immense temple, where he brought together many Italian artists, philosophers and poets.

A projection is used to show how the painting uses the law of perspective to arrange the characters in it.

Another highlight of the exhibition is two original Raphael paintings – "Putto Reggifestone" and "Saint Luke the Evangelist paints the Virgin in the presence of Raphael" – both of which were created in the early 16th century when Raphael's style reached a relatively mature period.

Among them, "Putto Reggifestone" was officially certified as authentic by the Italian authorities at the end of March 2021. It came to China soon after the certification, which is of extraordinary significance to the cultural exchange between China and Italy.

"We want to express the relationship between individual and art, art and beauty through this exhibition. Our exhibition includes works by Raphael and many other artists. I sincerely hope that this exhibition can serve as a messenger of friendship and harmony and bring joy to everyone who loves art," said Claudio Strinati, Italian curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition is among the events that began in 2020 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Raphael's death. It runs until October 14.

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