Renaissance master Raphael's works on display in Beijing
Web Editor:International daily
BEIJING - Art lovers in Beijing are enjoying the soul communication with Raphael Santi, one of the greatest masters of the Italian High Renaissance, with an exhibition featuring his paintings on display in the city.
The exhibition, titled "Meet Raphael: Masterpieces from Renaissance to Neoclassicism", is currently based at the Guardian Art Center in the Chinese capital.
"Self portraits are very valuable works of art to study. They can tell us how the artists actually see themselves, as well as what their personalities are like. In this painting, sitting slightly sideways, Raphael comes across as a modest and likable young man. This was true. He'd been modest and studious throughout his life," said Zhu Xingguo, associate professor of Renmin University School of Arts.
Like most artworks at the exhibition, the Self Portrait is a replica, with the original painting at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Nevertheless, Zhu said that what's most important for visitors is a whole narrative putting individual works of art into perspective.
Zhu explained the key characteristics of the Raphael style of art by analyzing the painting Madonna of the Goldfinch.
"This painting captures the characteristics of Raphael's artistic style. It's not a portrait of any actual person. He combines the handsomeness, beauty and cuteness of different people all into one person. It is in fact a very idealistic image," he said.
The pyramid composition, the balance and stability exhibited are of typical Raphael and the High Renaissance.
But nothing compares with his masterpiece fresco, the School of Athens. With Plato and Aristotle in the middle, philosophers and scientists from several eras gathered together, that piece of art has long been seen as the perfect embodiment of the Renaissance spirit.
It was commissioned by Pope Julius II to decorate the walls of his private library, now part of the Vatican Museum.
A fragment of a fresco has only recently been confirmed as a work of Raphael.
Hundreds of years later, the fragments have been studied and restored and worshiped.