uffizi room 66 di raffaello

This room is almost entirely dedicated to Raphaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known simply as Raphael; here hang both portraits and paintings with a sacred theme.

A student of Perugino, his detachment from his teacher can already be detected in his early works, such as the Portrait of a Man with an Apple and Portrait of Elisabetta Gonzaga.

During the first decade of the 16th century, the activity of the artist was quite vast and, among other works he painted many portraits, such as Portrait of a Man. From these years came also the Portrait of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, in which one can detect the distinct strokes of Raphael: an elevated humanness of the figure, according to the Renaissance doctrine of divine perfection.

Among the sacred pieces are Saint John the Baptist and the very famous Madonna of the Goldfinch formerly exhibited in the Tribune of the Uffizi in 1704. In its composition it encapsulates the influence of Leonardo in the pose and use of the sfumato, and that of Michelangelo, in the pyramidal composition. Here Raphael creates a tale of quiet abstraction, showing how the revelation of the divine is given in nature.

Also exhibited is the admirable Self-portrait, in which, as tradition will have it, the person being portrayed is looking directly at the viewer, but the twist of the torso is novel and gives it a marked dynamic effect.

In the Portrait of Julius II, a second version of the work preserved in the National Gallery of London, the artist renews the tradition of official portraits, in which the Pope is posing face forward or in profile, in an impersonal, solemn stance, here portraying his upper half and with a perspective slightly from above and at a diagonal, thus eliminating the detachment between the person portrayed and the observer. This composition became a model that we find again in the Portrait of Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi. Also having a great impact was the intimate representation of the state of mind of the Pope, caught in a moment of deep thought.

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