Rafael, Lear Michelangelo, Rome discussed on The Art Newspaper Weekly
We've been rather short of good news recently on the weekend art but we begin this week with the story. That's prompted a lot of joy among art lovers the once in a Lifetime Exhibition of works by Raphael at the scooter. Rear Kitty Nali in Rome. Which only open for three days before being closed due to covid. Nineteen in March will reopen on the second of June and run for three months until the thirtieth of August. The show is the jewel in the crown of the celebrations across Europe and the US marking the five hundredth anniversary of Raphael's death age. Thirty seven famously. If perhaps inaccurately because of exhaustion caused by night of excessive sex with Margarita Lucci or laugharne arena one of his most famous portrayed. The Rome Exhibition begins with Rafael Death. Moves back in time includes works online for fifty two museums and galleries including the Louvre in Paris. The Prada Madrid a National Gallery in London National Gallery of art in Washington. Dc. And the feats he gallery in. Florence which is lent fifty works including paintings drawings and sculptures all. The museums have agreed to leave their works in Rome until the end of August. Cheering -Ly Mattioli from Coney Director of the scooter. Edict clearly said that there's a new sense of community in the museum world. Everyone is feeling the only way to get out of the crisis. Together is to al-roa in the same direction. I spoke to Hugo Chapman. The keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum and Rafael specialist about the artist fame has somewhat unfairly been eclipsed by Leonardo and his great rival Michelangelo. He go in civilization. Kenneth Clarke says that Raphael was prima harmonize her and that made him less suitable for our current age than other renaissance painters artists. What do you make of that? Is he more suitable for our age? Now Clark have a point. I think Kenneth Clarke definitely had a point in that Rafah's extraordinary meteoric success Does not kind of accord with our sense of of how artistic careers should be the troubled Michelangelo Forever Brooding and falling out with people or the Raleigh consulate tree and mysterious genius of Leonardo. I think hold much more facination than Rafael. Who was born in court and from a very early age understood how courts and powerful men worked and SORTA work system extraordinarily successfully and then it goes died relatively young thirty seven So he didn't have the struggle that we like But having said that I still think the more one knows about Rafael one does realizes is incredible autistic mind the that underlies his amazing success. I think that's right and certainly. That's my impression from everything I read is that is that you know. He's he's one of the great polymath isn't here. I mean we think of Leonardo is a great polymath but reptile himself turned his mind. He's talents to so many different disciplines. He did although having said that. That was rene sauce where there was no training to be laissez an architect you just you just sort of to to stonemasons and and you learn how to do it I mean to some degree. He was less of a polymath in some of his contemporary. Sir I mean. Everybody was less of a polymath. Leonardo of course And he was extremely brilliant architect although very little of his architecture survives he was. He tried his hand. Poetry With I don't think great success because whether that was sort of because Lear Michelangelo was was very good poet But I think above all he was he was a great painter was certainly more than Michelangelo. Who who who did paint Barat kind of grudgingly. He was was always Michelangelos school tour. I think what well Rafael can do in paint. is still one of the most Thrilling things both in oil paint and also in FRESCA. He really is technically absolutely brilliant and concert. Turn his hand to everything and is much more sort of varied in his output. And are there are beautiful landscapes is great portraitist You know big sort of historical dramas and in a way that I think Leonardo and and and Mike Lynch Lendu really can't match. Let's talk a bit about about his origins. As you said he was born. Essentially at his father was a court painter. How much did he learned from his father? How and how quickly did he surpass him? Well of course. His father isn't around for for very long but I mean everything that we know about. Rafal is it. He's a frighteningly quick learner. He absorbed sings at an amazingly rapid rate And I'm sure you know. He took on his father's mantelet a very early age. He he kind of understood what his father's art was about and then very swiftly kind of surpass it and look for other models but I think that court training in beano which was a very sophisticated humanistic court the Rafah's Z's with mixing with a people socially much hira up up the pecking order and his ability to talk to to literary men. All of that came out of his training in being so I think it was a kind of ideal place for a future world beater to be born so he was very lucky in that respect. Obviously not so lucky that his father died and his father to be. Frank wasn't a great a great painter. He's more famous for his his poetic Kind of biographies of of artists of his time. But you know he was a perfectly. Decent Artists who Rafael would have learnt the basics of. But I didn't think Giovanni Santi even his greatest Mara would not put him amongst the Pantheon of great for Nissan's artists and that precociousness referrals was extraordinary because he was a master basically before he was in his twenties. Yes I mean he you know he's he was. I think he you know he's one of those artists who who kind of realized his amazing talented. He had this sort of searching intelligence and desire to move. I mean Beano is anybody who's been there is rather difficult place to get to even now It's not the center of anything and I think. Rafael quickly saw that If he was going to make his way He needed to leave. Be No and And then he spends time in an umbrella him improve GER which is a much bigger place on a place where he can learn more from from From from Pera Gino and others And then you know he then move onto Florence and then to Rome. He's you know he's somebody who's always interested in in looking around and saying what's the most interesting artistic trends and wanting to be there to learn from it. I mean if you Michelangelo and I can't help thinking Michelangelo. On his sort of Mount Olympus cloud wherever grey his go must be laughing himself fit to bus that poor raffles celebrations fifteen. Twenty eight of being completely over turned by Covid Because because Michelangelo Hated Rafeh with a kind of intensity that I think appropriate Jersey even in in the in the next world. Can you explain why because there's obviously complex but why did Michael android hate? Refer so much while it's I think it was based on Michelangelo. Feeding the Rafal had looked at his art and kind of stolen His style you know. He says one of his letters. Everything that Rafal highs he has for me I think is true But Michelangelo kind of addressed sees only his own art there. I mean what's as as you began said what Raff are supremely skilful at is taking taking aspects of of lots of different artists. Molding it into an individual. Very personal style. It's not all for Michelangelo for Michelangelo's particular perspective. That's the way he saw it And yes and Rafeh was tremendously successful. Rafael is ascendant in Rome. The young artists coming to Rome. And in the end. Lear the tenth combat. They're kind of in a war between the two of Florida up for these two artists. And he sends Michelangelo Back to Florence to work MEDICI projects and there is Rafael at a very young age. He is the top artists in Rome which means he's the top artists in Europe so it is an incredible success. You know we. We have very little in terms of documentation to show what. Rafael is doing behind the scenes but once suspects you that he was sort of talking to the right the right cardinal at the right time he was very good at playing politics in a way that. Michelangelo wasn't because for so he says that this is the thing about Rafa referrals. He just seems an almost like a perfect human. In sense of he's got he's got this extraordinary courtly manner you know he's he's an impeccable man. He's incredibly witty. This is good looking. He's he's witty. Yes I remember the other side. I think you can see him and I think one of one of the things that Thome Henry and Caroline Carol Platt Salsa did in the National Gallery show which was involved in was to kind of suggests that actually there's an athlete ruthless side of Rafah. He moves in and he then becomes whether it's in Arruda he sort of moves in as he does in Rome and and sort of becomes the top artists. And I kind of you know very sort of Cuckoo. Like way he's sort of comes in and you think. Oh there's poor Rafael. He's just a little sort of young provincial artists and by God. He's sued he. He's he's he's taken over all the plum commissions and he's forced you out so I mean there is. There is a ruthless as about Rafael. And I think he's the brilliant Rafal is that he sees that in order to succeed in that he has to have a really really productive and brilliant artistic studio behind him and this is the difference between him and Michelangelo. Michelangelo always surrounds himself until right to the end of his life where he changes his spots to a degree. But he's he really is so paranoid he surrounded himself by artistic nonentities because he's so why are they going to steal ideas from him? Rafael is so supremely confident of his own skills. That he hired. He's very very young. Very talented Giulio. Romano Penny Perino Varga Who are really really top rate artisan and have distinguished careers in their own right but as Rafael at the center of the artist's studio in Rome. Who is making them work And produce work in his style and he's amazingly productive whether it's cartoon designed whether it's architecture whether it's tapestries. He's he just sort of covers the whole lot and I think that sort of entrepreneurial spirit of Rafah the idea of sitting at the center of his judo being this sort of chief designer of a variety of different lines Is is very modern and I think Rafael would be. If he was alive today I would be sort of a film director at the same time is he's right here novel etc etc. He just. He was just extraordinarily creatively. Brilliant aunt and sort of understood how production worked Gonna. That's the thing is ultimately he's brilliant. He's what got him all those commissions because if I mean is is utterly extraordinary that he hasn't really done any significant public commission before he took on the standard which are one of the greatest works of all time so it seems to me that yes he could. He could have been as charming as they liked. But if he didn't back it up with this unbelievable brilliance. Then it wouldn't. It wouldn't have mattered. No I think that's very true. I mean I think the problem. Both of Leonardo and of of Michelangelo to an extent is is is the delivery breath. I mean they the ideas. They were as brilliant as as as anyone who's ever been in terms of ideas but often in the in the delivery because both in a sense quite solitary and light to kind of produce their own work Meant that their production was was quite limited That wasn't the case of Rafael. He he he learned to to get a very productive studio Producing work follow following his drawings and drawings was absolutely fundamental to Rafael. I mean and I mean for me. I mean the reason why I'm working in the British Museum. I mean sons bit kind of weird to say but it is because Rafah because when I was at university studying ruffle I find him. This is back to kind of spotty. Nineteen year old Hugo I found RAFFLE IS PAINTED. Really quite difficult to get my head. And I didn't find him very sympathetic. He seemed to perfect to idealized too so rarefied but but when Through the the the call set the then Westfield College and University College we were taken to look at joins. The Menashe met at the ash million Byron suddenly another aspect to Rafael. Came out this extraordinary mind. The way that he's pushing himself through drawing to analyze to understand how the work of Michelangelo and Leonardo much much more sophisticated than him when he comes to Florence. How he uses join to kind of what they're doing and then to kind of absorb it into his own style to me that was just a revelation is suddenly. I could see this amazing mind work. Which anybody looking at a drawing by RAFAEL CONC- Incredible creativity you he. He I mean what the difference is that Rafah then goes onto use those drawings to actually produce work software with my cleanser and Leonardo. They've produced wonderful joins but it doesn't actually materialized into a finish work whereas Rafael is absolutely bent on producing from this drawing. I will then go into painting. I'm going to produce. And that is why he so loved by patrons because on the whole if he said he was going to produce on the view heap actually did produce it So that's that's quite a killer Combo. That's one of the wonderful things isn't it?.