“Make space for the great Raphael!” On the Exhibition Policies for Raphael’s Masterpieces

  • Alessandra Galizzi Kroegel (Autor/in)


The essay discusses the exhibition policies that were developed for a few altarpieces by Raphael in German and Italian museums during the nineteenth century and up to the first half of the twentieth century. In particular, it is argued that the spectacular presentation reserved for the Sistine Madonna in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden after 1855 was deeply influential for the presentation of the Ecstasy of Santa Cecilia in the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, and for the Marriage of the Virgin in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. Evidence supports the idea that these similarities were the result of specific interchanges among people in the field, whether museum directors, art historians, or intellectuals in general, thus confirming that museums are an ideal place for transnational discourse and cultural exchange.