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Raffaello trama e ordito. Gli arazzi di Palazzo Ducale a Mantova
The exhibition Raffaello trama e ordito. Gli arazzi di Palazzo Ducale a Mantova [Raphael weft and warp. The tapestries of Palazzo Ducale in Mantua], organized by Palazzo Ducale - Museum complex, from October 24th, 2020 to June 6th, 2021 is part of the program of celebrations for the fifth centenary of the death of Raffaello Sanzio.
In fact, in Mantua there is a precious testimony of the genius of Urbino. The cycle of tapestries with Stories of Saints Peter and Paul preserved in the Doge's Palace was in fact made in Flanders starting from the preparatory cartoons made by Raphael's workshop: these huge painted sheets commissioned by Pope Leo X, partly preserved at the Victoria & Albert Museum of London, were used to create the famous cycle intended to adorn the walls of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.
The Mantuan edition, which chronologically follows the Roman editio princeps, is therefore a work of extraordinary value, certainly among the most expensive and prestigious pieces of the prodigious art collection of the Gonzagas.
The exhibition presents a series of documents related to the history of the cycle, from the purchase by Ercole Gonzaga to the most recent Twentieth Century events.
Between these two extremes are the destination first to the city Cathedral, then to the Palatine Basilica of Santa Barbara, the late-eighteenth-century layout, with the renovation of the Green Apartment by the neoclassical architect Paolo Pozzo and finally the events between 19th and 20th Centuries, when the tapestries were transferred to Austria and then brought back to Italy thanks to the diplomatic activities following the First World War. In the so-called chapel the relationship between Raphael and the Gonzagas will be highlighted: the lords of Mantua, as attentive art enthusiasts, courted the artist for a long time, persistently trying to obtain one of his autographs. The relationship with the ancient is the fulcrum of the precious letter - written by Baldessar Castiglione and addressed by Raphael to Pope Leo X - which will be exhibited in the exhibition and which is kept in the State Archives of Mantua.
This exceptional document allows you to reflect on multiple issues ranging from Antiquity, to the genesis of the modern concept of heritage protection to the practice of drawing, with the expression of a precise method of architectural representation. Furthermore, the letter is an expression of the friendship and intellectual consonance between two great protagonists of the time, Raphael and Baldassarre Castiglione.
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    Palazzo Ducale di Mantova
    Oct. 24, 2020
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