Raphael’s Cartoon for the ‘School of Athens’, located just a short distance from Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ and Michelangelo’s ‘Pietà Rondanini’, is one of the focal points of Renaissance Milan. At the height of the celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the work of another Renaissance artist, Raphael Sanzio, has gone on public view again. After an important restoration lasting four years, Milan’s Pinacoteca Ambrosiana has enhanced its artistic and cultural contributions and is exhibiting the preparatory Cartoon for The ‘School of Athens’, one of the best-known paintings by the Urbino-born artist. The cartoon was created as a preparatory sketch for the large painting commissioned by Pope Julius II to decorate the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican, and was entirely hand-drawn by Raphael. This was a truly remarkable because the famous 16th master often worked with the help of other artists. The work has been hung alone in a room in the Pinacoteca.

The room: la Sala Raffaello

This room, known as the Sala Raffaello, was specially redesigned for the occasion by the architectural firm Stefano Boeri Architetti and enables visitors to get close enough to see the precision of the charcoal strokes and the realism of the large-scale figures depicted. Information panels and multimedia tools outlining the history, technique and restoration of this masterpiece, complete the exhibition. The presentation of Raphael’s cartoon for public viewing is part of a larger project that includes the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in the promotional activities and artistic circuit dedicated to Renaissance Milan

Piazza Pio XI, 2
M1 (red line) – M3 (yellow line) Duomo
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