500 year anniversary of Raphael’s death in Rome

Rome was set to celebrate one of the art world’s biggest anniversary years. But like many plans for 2020, the pause button has been hit. Read on for how you can still enjoy the occasion.

First things first though. What’s the link between Rome and Raphael?

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino wasn’t born in Rome but the city became his home and his muse at a very young age. He spent the last decade of his young life (he died at 37) in the city where his works – the subject of a long rivalry between him and Michelangelo – can still be seen.

The High Renaissance artist and architect was set to be honoured with exhibitions and events worldwide – for this 500th year anniversary of his death.

Buried inside the Pantheon, in this year of remembrance a solemn red rose will be placed on his tomb every single day. From what I understand, this is still taking place despite the lockdown measures (the Pantheon of course, remains closed to the public).

200 of his masterpieces arrived to Rome from the Louvre and Uffizi Galleries for a world first exhibition given they’d never been seen together under the same roof.

The exhibition was to run from early March to June. In fact, it opened and ran for 3-4 days and then the closure of museums and eventual national lockdown was announced. I am not currently aware of any new dates but I do have some good news.

As part of Italy’s, ‘Culture never stops’ initiative, the exclusive and once in a lifetime exhibition can be viewed from the quarantine comfort of your owner home!

Click here to watch the 13 minute virtual tour of the exhibition via the Scuderie del Quirinale’s YouTube channel. It’s free and if you watch it, why not consider making a small donation to your local gallery, museum, cultural or arts association or venue. The work of artists (be it art, music, film and other form) is providing joy for many of us locked in our homes – let’s not ever forget them.

And when you one day visit Rome again, you can view Raphael’s works anywhere from the Vatican Museums to the Galleria Borghese. For more info, check out this great guide by An American in Rome.

Love from Melbourne

Baci Maria

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