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Eight Apostles, c. 1514, by Raphael. Red chalk over stylus under drawing and traces of lead point on paper.

Raphael Exhibit at the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, commemorates the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death with a new exhibition. Raphael (1483–1520) is recognized as one of the foremost figures of the classical tradition in western painting. Beginning on February 16th, the National Gallery of Art will present 26 prints and drawings from its own collection of works by Raphael’s contemporaries that includes four drawings by the Renaissance master himself. The exhibition entitled “Raphael and His Circle” will convey the complexity, range and immediate influence of his style, which became the standard for aesthetic excellence in Western art. The exhibition will continue through June 14th.

The four drawings by Raphael from the Gallery’s collection are, the sheet from which the design of his painting Saint George and the Dragon was transferred (c. 1506); the cartoon for the so-called Belle Jardinière (1507 or 1508); a detailed representation of the prophets Hosea and Jonah and a well-known study for part of the frescoes in the Church of Santa Maria della Pace in Rome. Each of these drawings is an advanced preparatory study for an important extant work. Together they represent Raphael’s immediate influence and artistic development.

Nine drawings by his closest collaborators and followers suggest the collective nature of Raphael’s later activity and the origins of mannerism. These include four pen-and-ink drawings by Giulio Romano (1499–1546); two chalk drawings by Polidoro da Caravaggio (c. 1499–probably 1543) and two pen-and-ink drawings by Perino del Vaga (1501–1547).

This exhibition also includes ten engravings by one of the earliest interpreters of his designs, Marcantonio Raimondi (c. 1480–c. 1534). Raimondi’s followers, Agostino dei Musi (c. 1490–1536) and Marco Dente (c. 1493–1527) also directly reference works by Raphael. Also on view is Ugo da Carpi’s (c. 1480–1532) David Slaying Goliath, based on a design by Raphael in the Vatican, which is the only chiaroscuro woodcut in the exhibition.

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public and are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th  Streets at Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, DC. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.