Location: Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Interview with Chris:
Tell me about the exhibit.
There was a new Pope and he wanted to do something to impress people. He decided to commission a set of 10 tapestries to hang in the Vatican. He paid Raphael, who was a famous artist at the time, to make the designs for the tapestries. The cartoons are photographic reproductions of the original cartoons that are in England. Raphael made the cartoons in his studio. The cartoons were used as templates for the weavers who made the tapestries. They made 10 original tapestries. The cartoons disappeared, then showed up one hundred years later. King Charles of England bought them, then took them to England. They rewove a bunch of other tapestries off the original templates. We don’t have the originals that were from the Vatican, these are the ones King Charles had commissioned.
They are still old.
Yes, they are about four hundred years old.
Chris: In Christ’s Charge to Peter, the one standing with a bunch of sheep, they did a photographic reproduction of that too. They are very expensive to do; so, the museum only did a couple.
Are the paintings based on the tapestries or the photographic reproductions?
When they weave a tapestry, they do it from the back, so it flips the images. That is why some of them look the same versus a mirror image.
Sidebar: I would have never noticed that if Chris didn’t point that out.
Is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you think I should have asked you? If so, go ahead and answer that question.
The point of this exhibit is to show Raphael’s influence on other artists. That was by his design. You know back in the day they didn’t have the internet. He would draw something, then pay someone to make a sketch to make reproductions and circulate them. He wanted his style to be spread out and copied. These paintings are examples of how other artists copied Raphael’s style. That is something that Raphael wanted to happen. The flip side of that is, this really is old Roman stuff. Raphael was in charge of excavating all the Roman stuff in Italy. If you look at that statue that was excavated, it looks a lot like the men in his original cartoons that ended up in the tapestries. Raphael copied the Romans, he spread out his style, then people copied him. It’s a historical type of deal.
Sidebar: Chris earned his keep on this day!
My Take Well worth the price of admission (whatever regular admission is)! I went on Sunday (admission is free and parking is free at the State Auto lot (across Washington Ave.). There was a fee associated with this exhibit; but, a volunteer gave me a sticker so I could see the exhibit free. Much respect and admiration to the volunteers. I don’t always remember to read about and listen to the descriptions of the art that is provided. Having a conversation with the volunteers helps me to learn more about the art and artists. Sure, I would have appreciated the art on display, but I would have missed the intentional influence of Raphael on other artists. This is a great example of using others’ influence in his work, then making and being deliberate to pass on to others.
This article would have been too long to comment on all that I enjoyed at a detailed level. This collection spoke to many areas and issues of life. Experiencing the collection could be a great place to start a familiar or difficult conversation.
I loved this visit!