Raphael and the Virgin of Foligno. The fortune of a model
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, the Municipality of Foligno wants to celebrate the painter’s mastermind from Urbino with an exhibition dedicated to the fortune of one of his most important masterpieces, the Virgin of Foligno, strongly related to history of the town.
This exhibition wants to document the fortune that the Raphael’s masterpiece gathered during the two centuries spent inside the monastery of Saint Anne, becoming the reference model to replicate great altarpieces intended for several local centers of worship and the prototype for various replicas in several formats and in different artistic types. His absolute fame handed down from ancient sources and from artists and travellers pen who were able to admire it in Foligno, in Paris and later in Rome, it also encouraged a significant production of engravings and prints determining the continuous appreciation and an uninterrupted admiration up to the present day.
This masterpiece, performed between the 1511 and the 1512, has been ordered in Roma by Sigismondo de’ Comitibus from Foligno, at the time secretary of the Pope Julius II, and it remained near the high altar of the AraCoeli church untill the 1564.
In that year Sister Anna de’ Comitibus, granddaughter of Sigismondo and abbess of Saint Anne monastery, was allowed to carry it to Foligno, where it was exposed for over two centuries on the main altar of the church.
Right here it was admired by many artists, travellers and members of Italian and international powerful families who demonstrated time and time again their intention to gain possession of it. This Raphael masterpiece had a great reputation and his undeniable pictorial qualities meant that during February 1797 it was commandeered by the French to increase the art collections of the Louvre Museum in Paris. This paint returned to Italy in 1816, the day after the Congress of Vienna, by joining the collections of the Vatican Museums with the same name known still today: the Virgin of Foligno.
This exhibition, edited by David Lucidi, Francesco Federico Mancini and Marta Onali, will be open to public from 24th September 2020 to 24th January 2021 and it will be developed on three exhibition centers: Palazzo Trinci, the hall of Sixtus IV will be the main location of the event with several paintings and prints exhibition from the XVI to XIX century demonstrating the fortune of the Virgin of Foligno in Umbria and a multimedia room for an immersive path into Raphael’s works. The Foligno State Archive hosts a documentary array dedicated to the image of Sigismondo de’ Comitibus, the Virgin of Foligno’s orderer. The Saint Anne monastery dedicates a section to the image of Sister Anna de’ Comitibus and to the conservative vicissitudes of Raphael’s paint until 1797.
The exposure will be animated by a wide range of side activities as guided tours along the places linked to the artist, educational workshops, lectures, theatrical and musical activities throughout the event.
Entrance is free with reservation and the obligation to wear the mask.