press release

This is the first major exhibition of paintings and drawings by the Renaissance painter, Raphael, to be held in Britain. In little more than a decade Raphael transformed himself from a competent master of provincial church decoration into one of the greatest painters of history and mythology who ever lived. His remarkably lucid compositions influenced Western art up to the 20th century. This exhibition is the story of this dramatic evolution.

Drawing on the rich holdings of the National Gallery's collection and major international loans, the exhibition will explore the meaning and historical context of Raphael's works as well as investigating the techniques he used and how these developed.

Highlights include the ‘Alba Madonna’ from Washington, the ‘Conestabile Madonna’ from the Hermitage, the ‘Saint George’ and ‘Saint Michael’ from the Louvre and the ‘Self-Portrait’ from the Uffizi.

The exhibition will follow Raphael's dramatic stylistic evolution from his origins in Urbino and the early influences of his father, Giovanni Santi, and the famous Umbrian master Pietro Perugino. It will explore his first works for churches in Umbria and the Marches and his studies in Florence under the influence of Leonardo and Michelangelo.

The exhibition will conclude by investigating how and why Raphael's art flourished and changed so dramatically under the enlightened patronage of Pope Julius II in Rome.. Sponsored by Credit Suisse First Boston Pressetext

Sainsbury Wing