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Raphael died on April 6, 1520, and the whole of Europe mourned the loss of God's gift to humankind. No other painter—we read in the letters that flooded Rome after the news broke—was as divine, as inspired, and as graceful as Raphael. The funeral cost as much as a Renaissance palace and he was buried in the Pantheon, the temple of all gods, an honor no other mortal has ever been granted. Still today, 1520 marks a point of no return in art historical narratives, the passage from the extraordinary inventions of the High Renaissance to the precious repetition of forms that goes under the name of Mannerism. Raphael's death turned the artistic lights of Rome off; his pupils fled the papal city to work in other European courts. The geography of art has never been the same.
To commemorate the 500th anniversary of this artistic earthquake, the Department of Art and Art History has organized Raphael Transfigured: Three Lectures on the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Great Artist's Death. The painter Enrique Martínez Celaya and the writers Rachel Cusk (Tuesday, April 14) and Colm Tóibín (Wednesday, May 20) will share what Raphael has meant for them and reflect on the legacy of his work for contemporary culture at large.
Join us on Monday, April 6, for "The Doom of the Arts," a lecture by Enrique Martínez Celaya.
Enrique Martínez Celaya is an internationally renowned artist, as well as an author and former scientist whose work has been exhibited and collected by major institutions around the world. He is the first Provost Professor of Humanities and Arts at the University of Southern California and a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College. His work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, and others. Learn more here.
Image: Raphael. Untitled (Self-portrait on paper). 1498-1520. The British Museum, London. © The Trustees of the British Museum