The Canigiani Holy Family, ca. 1507
Pappelholz (Populus sp.), 131 x 107 cm
1691 als Geschenk des Großherzogs Cosimo III. von Toskana an Johann Wilhelm von der Pfalz.
Inv. Nr. 476
RAPHAEL 1520-2020Alte Pinakothek
Raphael celebrated the greatest success with his art in Rome where he died 500 years ago. The many panel paintings and wall frescoes that he managed to complete there in little more than a decade have secured his international fame to this day – especially the painting of the so-called Stanze in the Vatican Palace and large altar paintings such as the Sistine Madonna.
Raffaelo Sanzio, who was born in 1483, started his career, however, in Umbria and Tuscany. It is uncertain whether he completed his apprenticeship in the workshop of his father, who worked as a painter in Urbino, or under Pietro Pierogino in Perugia. He doubtlessly showed exceptional technical skill as a painter at an early age and ambitiously modelled his works on those of prominent colleagues such as Perugino, Pinturicchio and Signorelli. Between 1504 and 1508 Raphael remained mostly in Florence and explored Leonardo da Vinci’s and Michelangelo’s spectacular creations in his compositions. He also used his sound knowledge of Fra Bartolommeo’s works equally masterfully for his own pictorial inventions. In this way he upheld his position among Florentine painters and attracted significant commissions for private devotional paintings, several portraits and an altar painting. This exhibition is devoted to Raphael’s depiction of the Holy Family commissioned by a Florentine merchant.
As the painter of pictures of sublime beauty Raphael attained cult status in the 19th century, in particular. Ludwig I of Bavaria and his gallery director, Johann Georg von Dillis, revered him as the ‘king of painting’. The 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death provides an occasion to recall the history of his fame and to reflect on the extent his works influenced the pictorial language of the western world in the modern period.