On the occasion of the Raffael Jubilee 2020, the Gemäldegalerie unites five Madonna pictures from its collection in a cabinet exhibition, accompanied by loans from the National Gallery in London and the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett. Madonna meeting in Berlin: 500th anniversary of Raphael's death
The 500th anniversary of the death on 6 April 2020 by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (born April 6 or March 28, 1483 in Urbino, † April 6, 1520 in Rome), one of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance, offers the opportunity of the five Madonna pictures from the inventory of the Gemäldegalerie in a cabinet exhibition. The works not otherwise exhibited together will meet here and enter into a dialogue with loans from the National Gallery in London and the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett. The round picture of the Madonna Terranuova (around 1505) will also be on display for the first time together with Raphael's drawing of the Madonna Terranuova's head from the Kupferstichkabinett.
London guest of honor
In addition to the outstanding works of Raphael from Berlin, a Madonna masterpiece from the National Gallery in London is a guest to visit and is a highlight of the exhibition: the Madonna with the carnations (1506-08). She leaves England for the first time since her museum purchase. Raphael painted this devotional image just before he left Florence for Rome and was inspired by the famous composition of the "Madonna Benois" by Leonardo da Vinci, which is now in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg.
Raphael as a cult artist
The Berlin special presentation takes a decided collection-historical perspective and shows us the "young Raphael" in mind, who was in great demand when the first museum was founded in Berlin in 1830. We trace the exhibition history of the Raffael Madonnas from the Royal Museum Unter den Linden (today: Altes Museum) to the Kaiser Friedrich Museum (today: Bode Museum) and the postwar period in Dahlem until today. Last but not least, the interesting question of the framing of the paintings by Karl Friedrich Schinkel comes to the fore.
The exhibition highlights the early acquisition policy of the Gemäldegalerie in the mirror of European collection history. It shows us Raphael, which was made by Prussia in the nineteenth century, but also the timeless Raphael, the creator of images of perfect beauty and harmony.