Introduction to the Exhibition-Raphael and His Circle
Jonathan Bober, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art
In celebration of the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, the Gallery presents 25 prints and drawings in an intimate installation. The works illustrate how Raphael’s art shaped the standard of aesthetic excellence for later artists, connoisseurs, and scholars. The exhibition features four drawings by Raphael: the sheet from which the design of his painting Saint George and the Dragon was transferred; the cartoon for the so-called Belle Jardinière; 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. Nine drawings by his closest collaborators and followers—Giulio Romano, Polidoro da Caravaggio, and Perino del Vaga—are also on view. The exhibition includes 10 engravings, as well as a chiaroscuro woodcut, by the earliest interpreters of Raphael’s designs: Marcantonio Raimondi and his followers Agostino dei Musi and Marco Dente as well as Ugo da Carpi. To celebrate the exhibition opening, on February 21, 2020, Jonathan Bober, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art, provided an overview of the exhibition.