From 13 September to 11 December 2016 at the Pushkin Museum works of Raphael will be shown. Exhibition of the great Italian painter will be held in Russia for the first time. Pictorial and graphic works will be represented there, including “self-Portrait” (1506) from the Gallery of statues and paintings paired portraits of Agnolo Doni and his wife Maddalena (1506) and “Madonna of Granduca” (1505) of the Palatine gallery (part of the complex of the Uffizi).
On 8 September at a press conference in TASS, the organizers told the prehistory of this project.
The idea of the exhibition belongs to the Italian Ambassador in Moscow, Mr. Cesare Maria Ragaglini. On meeting with the press he said that the exhibitions of Titian, Caravaggio and other Italian artists were very popular in Russia. But “exhibition of Raphael, is one of the greatest events”. The value of the works is so high that the insurance of each picture was 40-100 million euros. “Do you realize how incredibly difficult it was to convince the Italians that they let Rafael out of the house? … But the Embassy is not shy in front of challenges. Last night the paintings arrived by Alitalia flight. Takeoff and landing was carried out taking into account precious cargo, the passengers noted her special softness. This show is the first in a series under the agreement with the Uffizi Gallery”. Next summer we hope to see the Morand.
Financial support for the exhibition was provided by its General sponsor Rosneft, in the face of its head I. Sechin.
Ph. D. V. Markova, curator of the exhibition from the Pushkin Museum marked, that «Italian art and Italians feel themselves at the Pushkin Museum like at home… In this exhibition the focus is on portraiture of Raphael. He created a new type of Renaissance portraiture, in which the face is endowed with recognizable traits of a particular person, and is presented as a generalized image of its time… We saw in this exhibition the opportunity to show the connection of Raphael with Russia and Russian culture. His influence is not limited to just painting.” Victoria emmanuilovna stressed that many Russian poets and writers expressed their admiration for the artist, including G. R. Derzhavin, A. S. Pushkin, V. K. Kuchelbecker, V. A. Zhukovsky, F. Dostoyevsky.
Before the revolution, the Hermitage had 4 paintings of Raphael: the Conestabile Madonna bought by Alexander II in 1871; “Madonna with beardless Joseph” and “St. George and the dragon” by Catherine the great in 1773; “the Alba Madonna” bought by Nicholas I in 1836; In 1931 the Bolsheviks sold “Alba Madonna” and “St. George and the dragon”.
Concluding the press conference, Mr. Cesare Maria Ragaglini said, “with this exhibition, the Embassy starts the “Italian autumn”: Teatro Alla Scala, Rafael, Piranesi will come in Russia. I’d like to see this exhibition stimulated a deeper penetration into our culture, to the study of language and when you arrive to us in Italy.”