Friday, May 26, 2006

Raffaello in Rome – Villa Borghese hosts Raffaello through 27 August

Beauty is unfair, sneaky and not measurable. Sure there are some things that are generally accepted as beautiful. Take top models, most will agree that they are gorgeous, I think they are generally too skinny. Just think about cuddling, instead of having something soft laying against you, this or that bone sticks you in the ribs. Then again beauty is not easily measured, sometimes you look at a building, you can appreciate the artisan workmanship but until you sit down in the parlor in front of a beautiful fireplace and can imagine an overstuffed leather chair, a cigar and a glass of Brunello, you can’t say you love the place.

Beautiful things are so sneaky, I was reading an article about a girl who had gone to the museum, she had spent the entire day admiring a small watercolor painting. She had been to the exhibit many times and the watercolor had always been there but that day it jumped out and grabbed her and she could not get away. This has happened to me many times. I see something on a regular basis and then one day I realize just how beautiful it is.

A new exhibit has just opened in Rome featuring the renaissance artist Raffaello. His works have been brought to Villa Borghese from museums all over the world and can be seen through the 27th of August, 2006. This is a once in a lifetime occasion. Many of the works of Raffaello are not found in one location. The museums jealously hold the works. The theme of the show follows the migration of Raffaello from Florence to Rome where he completed the transformation of his style with the Deposition, a trilogy that represents the values of faith, hope and charity.

The show includes works from 1505-1508. It is intended to show the evolution of the painter as he migrates from Florence to Rome, where he would then paint numerous murals in the Vatican. The exhibit is divided into three primary sections. The first is dedicated to portraits, the second represents the Madonna with baby Jesus and the third is entirely dedicated to the Deposition.

The transformation of Raffaello’s style is considered unique. Rarely an artist is able to criticize his own works and incorporate more advanced techniques and methods in such a short period of time. The voyage into Raffaello’s life begins as Raffaello assimilates the techniques movement and space from Michelangelo and Leonardo. His paintings epitomize the divine in the literal sense of the word as he creates a parallel world of perfect balance of movement and proportion. A world that could be real, always existing but never before represented.

The study ends with an entire room dedicated to the Deposition. The Deposition, which initiates a new era for the painter, is the result of great internal tribulation as the artist criticizes his own style and technique and is reborn. His transition is evidenced in this work as his vision of beauty and balance clearly change from earlier works.

Not all appreciate art. A museum is a boring trip with some nice things but generally not worth the time. Every once in awhile this sneaky beauty surprises, jumps out and holds you, and a whole new world opens as the imagination soars. For some this exhibit will open that world, for others it will simply be some beautiful paintings created 500 years ago, but for all it is worth the trip. Who knows, it may be your turn to remain immobile, unaware of time, as this sneaky art takes you to a new dimension.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am always touched by your ability to see past the grit and grime of everyday existence. There is so much beauty in life and so little appreciation for what it (could) add if people would just slow down and observe something other than their own immediate self-interest. I long for more episodes of "immobility." Thanks again for your insights!

5:45 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Diva Leigh - Your words are always very kind. I appreciate your thoughts, hope all is well in NY.

5:54 AM


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