Expo Review: Rafael, the Last Years at the Louvre (ending 14 January)

4724-4984I had the opportunity just between the holidays to see the temporary exhibit at the Louvre on the later years of Rafael. It is definitely worth your time if you can make it there before it shuts down on the 14th of January. It features about 15 works from Rafael as well as those of his contemporaries and particularly two guys from his studio that completely much of the work that he left unfinished. It is really hard to put Rafael into words because his art is so transcendant. There is perfection in terms of proportions and attention to perspective. His various family portraits of the Virgin and Jesus (over here with Aunt Liz, over there with hapless (drunk?) Papa Joe, and don’t forget pesky Johnny Baptist his older cousin) may seem redundant and repetitive at first glance but each express a different character depending on the person that Rafael was painting for. The exhibit made me impatient to get back to Rome – without the kids this time – and spend a few more hours (days?) in the Vatican to study the many rooms that he decorated (thus leaving so many unfinished paintings for his studio as his later life was consumed with the papal contract). I can also recommend the catalog as being a typically well-documented memorabilia to take away with you and to impress friends and family with. Actually, I buy the catalogs of my more preferred exhibits in hopes that my kids will one day be interested in art and when they ask, “Who was Rafael?”, I can just pull out the catalog and wax all nostalgic and say, “I am glad you asked…”

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About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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