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"Raphael and Titian: The Renaissance Portrait"
1999-12-15 until 2000-03-19
Art Instutite ofChicago
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,
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