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Raphael and His Circle: Introductory Slideshow

Eric Denker, senior lecturer, National Gallery of Art

Raphael is recognized by many as the foremost figure of the classical tradition in Western painting. Unparalleled in the complexity of his style and the near reverence his art has inspired over the five centuries since his death, few artists are so deserving of commemoration. In the early twentieth century, the mark of a great Italian collection in the United States was to have work by Raphael. No Michelangelo paintings or sculpture were in America’s collections, nor any work by Leonardo da Vinci. However collectors in the United States astutely acquired 14 paintings by Raphael, five of which would become part of the National Gallery of Art’s collection. To celebrate the exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, Eric Denker, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, gave this talk on March 13, 2020. He provides an overview of the exhibition and examines the Gallery’s extraordinary collection of paintings, drawings, and prints by Raphael and his workshop.