Raphael: The Latest on the Renaissance Artist

More news continues to straggle in about the upcoming 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death and related ephemera (though long may his art live).

Perhaps the biggest dispatch to recently emerge from the art history world is the determination that the Haddo Madonna in Scotland was likely NOT painted by Raphael. The painting was examined by experts from London’s National Gallery as well as compared to known Raphaels, and they concluded that while it was quite well executed, it was probably completed in the 18th century. However, debate remains as to whether it is a 16th century work by another Italian painter or perhaps an artist from the Bolognese School, and so in solving the Raphael riddle, the specialists have created a new puzzle as to its provenance.

The Haddo Madonna, apparently NOT by Raphael

The nail in the Raphael coffin? “The decorative play of hands and arms, which is a distinctive feature of Raphael’s known Madonna and Child compositions and introduced a new tenderness and human element to these religious paintings, is absent here.”

As the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death approaches, another museum has announced a major exhibition of his work, at the Scuderie del Quirinale, which also displayed a retrospective on the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death in May 1919. Interestingly, nothing on the Scuderie’s website yet advertises such a Raphael exhibit, but according to this article in Wanted In Rome, Raphael’s works, many loaned from the Uffizi, will be on display there from March 5 to June 14, 2020. The article also helpfully lists where intrepid visitors can find Raphael’s works throughout Rome, such as The Sybils at the Church of Santa Maria della Pace, commissioned in 1514 by the Sienese banker Agostino Chigi.

Sybils receiving instructions by angels, in the Church of Santa Maria della Pace

Stay tuned as I continue to unearth more news and information about Raphael in the coming months.

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In Toronto’s trendy Yorkville neighbourhood sits an historic yellow brick building, now home to a ritzy Chanel store. In a previous incarnation, however, this building was the first home of Mount Sinai Hospital, now located on Medical Row on University Avenue and one of the biggest in the city.

From the hospital’s website: “In August of 1913, four immigrant women from Toronto’s Jewish community started knocking on neighbourhood doors to raise money for a hospital. The Jewish immigrant population in Toronto was burgeoning; most of the new immigrants didn’t speak English and were afraid of large institutions.  And, sadly, not a hospital in the city would give Jewish doctors a place to practice. It took them nine years, but by 1922, Mrs. Cohn, Miller, Spiegel, and Adler had raised $12,000, enough to buy a building at 100 Yorkville. In 1923, The Hebrew Maternity and Convalescent Hospital opened its doors.”

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