RAPHAEL. EFFECT OF A GENIUS | 02 July - 03 Oct 2021 | special exhibition | exhibition catalogue | 631 pages | c. 350 illustrations | hardcover | german edition
With c. 200 prints, drawings, paintings, photographs and books from its own holdings, the Hamburger Kunsthalle illustrates the unique impact of Raphael (1483-1520), one of the most outstanding artists of the Renaissance. Raphael was the superstar of an epoch, who rushed from success to success in his short life and was showered with honourable commissions by the highest dignitaries such as the popes. With his paintings and frescoes, he set the standards of European art not only for his time but for centuries to come. A highlight of the exhibition are five drawings by Raphael in his own hand from the collection of the Kupferstichkabinett of the Hamburger Kunsthalle. They were specially examined for the presentation with the most modern technical means and are only exhibited extremely rarely due to their sensitivity. These figure studies emphatically demonstrate Raphael's mastery of precise observation of nature and mastery of various drawing materials.
In addition to these valuable sheets, which are important preparatory studies for paintings, for example in the Vatican, the show RAPHAEL presents an extensive selection of the most important examples of reproduction prints: no other artist achieved such a far-reaching effect as Raphael, hardly any other enjoyed an almost saintly veneration like »il Divino« (the Divine). This enormous impact is expressed above all in numerous works created after the artist's works. It was Raphael himself who initiated the dissemination of his pictorial ideas with prints, a process which found the richest succession for more than three hundred and fifty years. On display are outstanding interpretations of Raphael's masterpieces, such as the School of Athens, the Sistine Madonna and the Transfiguration. Also on display are numerous hand drawings after Raphael's compositions, for example by Philipp Otto Runge. From the middle of the 19th century, the emerging photography gradually took over the main role in the dissemination of Raphael's pictorial inventions. The show features fascinating examples from the early days of this medium as well.