Rome Celebrates the Short, but Beautiful, Life of Raphael

By Elisabetta Povoledo
Raphael’s “Madonna and Child with St. John,” painted around 1510, is one of his works on display.
ROME — To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Raphael, curators of the blockbuster exhibition that opened this week at the Scuderie del Quirinale exhibition space here have gone for a Benjamin Button approach. The exhibition starts by refreshing our memories about Raphael’s repute at the time of his unexpected death in 1520, when the Renaissance artist was still in his prime and enjoying A-list status. It then traces his artistic development in reverse, ending with his early years in Urbino, Italy, where he was born in 1483. His untimely death at 37 is also a sobering “memento mori” at a time when the coronavirus outbreak has cast uncertainty over the world and caused the closure of schools, universities, theaters and museums across Italy. [More]