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Raphael: The Drawings

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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The 120 drawings on display are taken from across Raphael’s brief but brilliant career, taking visitors from his early career in Umbria through his radically creative years in Florence to the period when he was at the height of his powers in Rome, working on major projects such as the Vatican frescoes. Fifty works come from the Ashmolean’s own collection, the largest and most important group of Raphael drawings in the world. The remaining drawings come from international collections and include The Head of a Muse (private collection) which broke the records when auctioned at Christies in 2009. The exhibition aims to transform our understanding of Raphael through a focus on the immediacy and expressiveness of his drawing. Find out more about the Raphael exhibition from the Ashmolean’s website.

Read an introduction from the curator of the exhibition here.

Preview the exhibition below | See Apollo’s Picks of the Week here

The Virgin with the Pomegranate (c. 1504), Raphael. © Albertina Museum, Vienna

The Virgin with the Pomegranate (c. 1504), Raphael. © Albertina Museum, Vienna

Studies for the figure of Christ (c. 1507), Raphael. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Studies for the figure of Christ (c. 1507), Raphael. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Putto holding the Medici Ring (c. 1513–14), Raphael. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Putto holding the Medici Ring (c. 1513–14), Raphael. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

The heads and hands of two apostles (c. 1519–20), Raphael. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

The heads and hands of two apostles (c. 1519–20), Raphael. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Studies for the Madonna of Francis I (c. 1518), Raphael. © Gallerie degli U zi, Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Florence

Studies for the Madonna of Francis I (c. 1518), Raphael. © Gallerie degli U zi, Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Florence

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