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Raphael: Czartoryski Portrait

Below I reprise my essay on Raphael’s Czartoryski Portrait, a post that first appeared on this site on October 28, 2014. The essay had originally appeared on the late Hasan Niyazi‘ s very popular art history blog, Three Pipe Problem. Hasan died in October 2013 in his mid-thirties at about the same age as his beloved Raphael. He had done a fine survey of the attribution issues and provenance of this painting, and it led me to consider the sex of the sitter.

 
Raphael: Portrait of a Young Man
Lost during Nazi occupation of Poland

Raphael: St. Cecilia

Today, I reprise a slightly revised version of a post on Raphael’s St. Cecilia Altarpiece that originally appeared on this site almost six years ago. The article is primarily a review of Oskar’s Fischel’s explanation of the reasons for the inclusion of the four saints who surround St. Cecilia.

 
Raphael: St. Cecilia
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna
1516-7, 220 x 136 cm

The Italian Renaissance Nude amended (III)

The afterlife of ‘Loves of the Gods’

Baviero de’Carrocci, known as Il Baviera, the dynamic and trusted manager of RAFFAELLO’s workshop, needed money in the disastrous year 1527 of the ‘Sack of Rome’ and published a new series of dazzling erotic engravings, inspired from his stock of drawings and designs … with guaranteed commercial success among the soldiery (1 p.223).

The workshop had created earlier a series of sixteen very innovative naturalistic depictions of male and female bodies in intercourse positions, known as ‘I Modi’ (‘The Positions’), but the originals had been destroyed and its engravings seized in 1524 or 1525. To avoid censorship and ruin once more, this time each image got a clear mythological connotation with an associated title and text. The new series was now called ‘Amori degli Dei’ (Loves of the Gods) and engraved by Jacopo CARAGLIO. The success was extensive and the whole series or separate images were copied repeatedly and adapted or imitated with long textual descriptions. The images were also inspiration for frescoes, paintings, tapestries, ceramics (majolica), etc.

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