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Raphael: Renaissance master revealed



Raphael: Renaissance master revealed


The Art Gallery of NSW, in collaboration with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Sydney, is celebrating the life and legacy of Raphael raffaello ritratto(Raffaello Sanzio, 1483–1520) in a one-day symposium marking 500 years of his artistic genius.

Renowned Italian scholar, Professor Costantino D’Orazio, will deliver the keynote lecture, The fabulous Raphael, leading us through the villas, palaces, private papal apartments and secret loggias that are home to magnificent frescoes by the High Renaissance master.

Lectures by leading art historians Dr John Gagné, University of Sydney, and Dr Lisa Beaven, La Trobe University, will explore other facets of the master.

Absorbing Raphael: the Renaissance artist’s early years

In a way, Raphael Sanzio’s entire life was made up of early years – he died at thirty-seven, an age when other artists were just coming into their own. Even before the glories of the final decade of his life in Rome, we can already discern in his younger years his exquisite receptivity to a variety of influences: his own father the Umbrian master Giovanni, as well as Perugino, Pinturicchio, and Signorelli, among many others.

Dr John Gagné is Senior Lecturer in History and Director of the Medieval and Early Modern Centre at the University of Sydney. Much of his research focuses on problems in the history of premodern war, especially the Italian Wars of the early sixteenth century. His book, Milan Undone: Contested Sovereignties in the Italian Wars will appear with Harvard University Press later this year.

The fabulous Raphael

Affable, refined, smart, Raffaello Sanzio (Urbino, 1483 - Rome, 1520) enjoyed an extraordinary career which in less than fifteen years led him to become the protégé of the greatest Popes of the early sixteenth century. This talk will focus upon the life and art of Raphael, leading us through the private apartments of the Popes, to unveil the most secret loggias and magnificent frescoes within the walls of the villas and palaces where the master of Urbino left his unique mark.

costantino mezzobusto smallProf. Costantino D’Orazio was born in Rome in 1974. He is a leading art historian, curator and essayist. He has published several successful books on Italian art history. He is senior curator at MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome) and lectures within the Master for Art Curators at Luiss University and Link Campus. He is a regular contributor to the art programs aired on Italian national radio and TV stations RAI 3, Rainews24, Radio 2 and Radio 3. He is the author, among others, of Caravaggio segreto (Secret Caravaggio, Sperling & Kupfer 2013), Leonardo segreto (Secret Leonardo, Sperling & Kupfer 2014), Michelangelo. Io sono fuoco. Autobiografia di un genio (Michelangelo. I am fire. Autobiography of a genius, Sperling & Kupfer 2016), Ma liberaci dal male (Free us from evil, Sperling & Kupfer, 2017), Mercanti di bellezza (Beauty merchants, Rai Eri, 2017) and Leonardo svelato (Leonardo revealed, Sperling & Kupfer, 2019).

Desperately seeking Raphael: collecting Raphael paintings in seventeenth-century Italy

The decades that followed Raphael’s death were saturated with the influence of Michelangelo's extraordinary artworks, therefore Raphael’s paintings were not highly in demand. However, In the 17th, a positive re-evaluation of Raphael's work took place on the part of collectors, artists and theorists. For collectors in particular, the desire to obtain a painting by Raphael grew into something of an obsession, leading to a frenzy of collecting activity. With a limited number of Raphael paintings available in Rome, collectors were prepared to resort to extraordinary lengths, including theft, to obtain one.

Dr Lisa Beaven is senior lecturer in art and visual culture at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. From 2014-18 she was a post-doctoral research fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at the University of Melbourne. Her book, An Ardent Patron: Cardinal Camillo Massimo and his artistic and antiquarian circle: Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin and Diego Velazquez was published in 2010, and she is co-editor of the volume (with Angela Ndalianis), Emotion and the Seduction of the Senses, baroque to neo-Baroque (2018).

Italian refreshments will be served during intermission.


  • $45 IIC and Art Gallery Society members
  • $55 non-members


Phone: (02) 9225 1878
In person: Members Lounge, lower level 3, Art Gallery of New South Wales


Date: Da Friday, March 20, 2020 a Saturday, March 21, 2020

Time: From 10:30 am To 1:00 pm

Organized by : Art Gallery of NSW

In collaboration with : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : With fee


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Domain Theatre