Monday, November 4, 2019

Raphael & the Pope's Librarian

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
October 31, 2019 - January 30, 2020

Nearly five centuries after his death, Raphael’s fame remains undiminished. In 1898, Isabella Stewart Gardner brought the first Raphael to America, a portrait of the pope’s librarian Tommaso Inghirami. Celebrated by Erasmus as “the Cicero of our era,” Inghirami was a high Renaissance celebrity esteemed for his profound erudition, theatrical abilities, and powerful friends, including Raphael himself.

Commemorating the 500th anniversary of the painter’s death in 1520, this exhibition brings together for the first time

Raphael, “Ex-voto of Tommaso Inghirami Fallen under an Ox-Cart in Rome”
Raphael, “Ex-voto of Tommaso Inghirami Fallen under an Ox-Cart in Rome,” about 1508, oil on panel, 64 x 88 cm (25 3/16 x 34 5/8 in.), Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, Vatican Museums, Vatican City

 a painting of an episode from Inghirami’s life (Musei Vaticani, Vatican City) with the Gardner’s own portrait, as well as a special selection of sculpture, drawings and archival materials to tell the fascinating story of the man with the red cap and the collector who brought him to America.

Raphael (Italian, 1483-1520), Tommaso Inghirami, about 1510

Raphael, “Tommaso Inghirami,” about 1510, oil on panel, 90 x 62.5 cm (35 7/16 x 24 5/8 in.), 114.1 x 86.7 cm (44 15/16 x 34 1/8 in.) framed, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, P16e4

Exhibition Catalog

Cover of the exhibition catalog for Close Up: Raphael & the Pope's Librarian

Published in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, this engrossing book accompanies this exhibition. Read about this iconic painting, and Raphael's work, which writer Henry James called "semi-sacred."