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"Raphael and Titian: The Renaissance Portrait"
1999-12-15 until 2000-03-19
Art Instutite ofChicago
Chicago, IL, USA United States of America

Two of the greatest and most celebrated portraits of the Italian renaissance form the centerpiece of this focused small-scale exhibition highlighting the remarkable innovations made in the art of portraiture during the 16th century. Raphael Sanzio's magnificent Donna Velata (Veiled Lady), c. 1516 had a profound influence on his contemporaries and also on later artists not only because of its beauty but because of the myth that the sitter was the artist's mistress. At one point, it reigned as one of the most famous paintings in the world. Responding to Leonardo's Mona Lisa, Raphael developed in the picture his own ideal of female beauty and deportment. Titian Vecellio's Portrait of a Man with Blue-Green Eyes (also called Young Englishman), 1540/45 was no less acclaimed and influential. The subject's suave, informal stance and psychological directness inspired countless other portraits by such artists as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, and Rembrandt.

The Raphael and Titian portraits will be on loan to the Art Institute from the Pitti Gallery in Florence, where they are considered to be two of the greatest masterpieces in the collection. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity for American viewers: the Raphael painting has never before been exhibited outside of Europe, and the Titian has been shown only once in the United States. Moreover, this is the Titian's first public display since its recent restoration. The two Pitti paintings will be exhibited alongside a group of important Renaissance portraits from the Art Institute's own collection, among them works by Palma il Giovane, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, Giovanni Battista Moroni, and Jacopo Pontormo.


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