Remembering Raphael: virtual exhibits to mark 500 years since death

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While museums may be closed during the coronavirus, Italian art and culture is just one click away! Instead of letting art shows go to waste, many have turned them into virtual tours, so everyone is able to enjoy the beauty in this difficult time.

One painter being featured is Raphael, on the anniversary of 500 years after his death.

Rome's Quirinale is an example of one of these exhibitions. It highlights Raphael's works in a 13-minute video. It's narrated in Italian, and goes through 10 different rooms, with Raphael's pieces. They are all separated by theme, including: Tomb of Raphael at the Pantheon, Leo X's Letter, Poems and painting, the Ideal Female and a Young Raphael.

The Vatican Museums also feature the painter. They allow viewers to enter the Pontifical Palace to see all four of Raphael's Rooms: Room of Constantine, Room of Heliodorus, Room of the Segnatura and Room of the Fire in the Borgo. Then, once inside, each of the works are broken down by name, and explained. 

Take for example the Vision of the Cross or the Baptism of Constantine in the Room of Constantine.  

In addition to Raphael's Rooms, there are more of his pieces throughout the 54 galleries contained inside the Vatican Museums. One area is the Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery), which was opened in the 1930s. Here lies one of his most famous works: The Transfiguration. From the comfort of the living room, art fans can take in all the vibrant colors and dramatic energy in this piece.

In addition, Raphael's the Crowning of the Virgin, Baglioni Predella and the Madonna of Foligno can also be seen up-close and personal on the website. 

It's one way beauty can be transmitted around the world during this time, despite travel bans. Through these virtual exhibits, everyone can enjoy the painter and remember his life 500 years later. 

Melissa Butz

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