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Drawings in Getty Exhibition From Windsor Castle Uncover Raphael's Creative Power

October 31, 2000-January 7, 2001

October 6, 2000

Los Angeles--The major traveling exhibition Raphael and His Circle: Drawings from Windsor Castle, on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from October 31, 2000 through January 7, 2001, provides a rare opportunity to view the inventions of one of the pivotal artists of the Renaissance. The exhibition features 66 drawings on loan from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, selected from the magnificent collection of old master drawings and watercolors in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. The Getty is the exhibition's only western United States venue after presentations at the Queen's Gallery, London (May 21 through October 10, 1999), the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (May 14 through July 23, 2000), and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (August 6 through September 15, 2000).

Raphael (1483-1520) possessed a creative power that is revealed most clearly in his drawings. His 25 drawings on view in the exhibition exemplify the principles of composition, types of figure drawing, and systems of workshop collaboration he developed in his short but brilliant career. These elements of Raphael's work set the standards for much of the next four centuries and made his famous large-scale commissions possible. His works on view range from a study for an altarpiece, probably commissioned when he was not yet 20, to drawings for the great projects executed at the height of his fame in Rome.

Works by earlier artists who influenced Raphael, and by his assistants who spread interpretations of his work throughout Italy, amplify the magnitude of this master's achievements. One part of the exhibition focuses on Raphael's teachers (Pietro Perugino and Raphael's father, Giovanni Santi), another on his own work, and a third on the work of his assistants (Giulio Romano, Perino del Vaga, and Polidoro da Carravaggio).

Unique to the presentation of Raphael and His Circle at the Getty is a special section devoted to the making of the Disputa, the monumental fresco commissioned by Pope Julius II for the Vatican Palace's papal library, now known as the Stanza della Segnatura. The stanza's vault is decorated with personifications of Theology, Philosophy, Poetry, and Jurisprudence. Painted on the wall under Theology is the Disputa, a theological discussion of the Eucharist, one of the seven sacraments and essential mysteries of the Catholic faith. The Eucharist is the central event of a Catholic mass in which bread and wine are blessed and consumed as Christ's body and blood.

The exhibition features the earliest surviving study for the fresco that shows how the master grappled with the difficulties of painting such a large space. A Study for the Left Half of the Disputa reveals the arcs of Raphael's compass used to proportionally expand the composition on paper while working to fit it on the expansive wall. This special section also includes an almost life-size reproduction of the final painted fresco.

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Related Exhibition
Raphael and His Influence Across the Centuries (October 31, 2000 through January 7, 2001) complements the Windsor exhibition with drawings from the Getty Museum's own collection that illustrate Raphael's impact on his contemporaries and later artists.

Related Events
Lecture -"The Afterlife of Raphael, or, What to Do When Your Master Dies"
Martin Clayton, assistant curator in the Print Room of the Royal Library at Windsor Castle Thurs., Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Free. Call 310-440-7300 for reservations.

Artist-at-Work Demonstrations - Drawings in the style of Raphael
Peter Zokosky, artist and professor at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
Thurs. Nov. 2, 16, and 30; and Sun. Nov. 5 and 19; 1-4 p.m.
Thurs. Dec. 7 and 28; and Sun. Dec. 3; 1-4 p.m.
Sun. Jan 7, 1-4 p.m.
East Art Information Room
Free. No reservations required.

Adult Course - "Spheres of Influence: Raphael and His Art"
Ronald Steen, art historian and art educator
A three-part course exploring the life, art, career, and visual poetry of Raphael
Sundays, Dec. 3, 10, and 17, 11 a.m.-noon
Museum Lecture Hall
Free. Call 310-440-7300 for reservations.

Dance Performance - "Raphael's Garden"
New and repertory pieces that complement the Raphael exhibitions
Performed by ODC/San Francisco Dance Company
Sat., Dec. 16, 8 p.m.
Harold M. Williams Auditorium
$20. Call 323-655-TKTS for tickets.

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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