Raphael: Gold & Silk
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, AT
26.09.2023 – 14.01.2024

Raphael: Gold & Silk Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, AT 26.09.2023 – 14.01.2024

Die Schule von Athen, Serientitel: Tapisserien nach Fresken Raffaels im Vatikan, Entwurf: Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, gen. Raffael (1483–1520), 1509/11, Hergestellt unter Pierre-François Cozette (1714–1801) und Michel Audran (1701–1771) in der Manufacture Royale des Gobelins, Paris, 1765–1771, Wolle, Seide, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer © KHM-Museumsverband

In its major autumn exhibition in 2023, the Kunsthistorisches Museum is devoting itself to a medium that was an integral part of Renaissance representational and festive culture: monumental tapestries. The centrepiece is the tapestry by the important painter Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, gen. Raphael (1483-1520), with depictions of the lives and miracles of the apostles Peter and Paul. The exhibition outlines the lasting influence of Raphael's compositions on the stylistic development of Flemish tapestries in particular. They were painted by renowned artists such as Barend van Orley, Michiel Coxcie and Pieter Coecke van Aelst. The designs of the latter include of a spectacular, rarely shown series entitled The Seven Deadly Sins, which is another another focal point of the presentation. The huge tapestries with their high political significance were used more than almost any other pictorial medium. Political significance were utilised by aristocratic houses and the Catholic Church for for propagandistic purposes. Their luxurious character was emphasised by the use of expensive materials such as gold and silver threads, silk and wool as well as the the long and therefore cost-intensive production process. The tapestry collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, formerly imperial property, are among the most the most important of their kind in the world.

Raphael's tapestries of the apostles for the Sistine Chapel
How Flemish tapestry art would have developed without the art-loving Medici Pope Leo X (1475- 1521) is uncertain. In 1515, he decided to commission the ten-part series of apostles for the Sistine Chapel and entrusted Raphael, who was at the height of his career at the time, with the design. Raphael's original large-scale models, which were designed like monumental paintings, were masterfully translated into the textile medium by Pieter van Aelst's Brussels manufactory. By Christmas 1519, seven tapestries had already been completed and were ready to be presented at their destination. Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574), Italian artist and artist biographer, was enthusiastic:

"The work appears more like a miracle than the work of a man, because there are water, animals, houses in it that are so well made that they do not appear to be woven, but painted with a brush."

Six of these tapestries based on Raphael's designs form the prelude to the extensive exhibition. exhibition. They include the impressive tapestry The Death of Ananias - on loan from the Vatican Museums. on loan from the Vatican Museums.

Overview tours in German
Tue, 3 pm / Wed, 11 am / Thu, 6 pm / Fri, 11 am / Sat & Sun, 4 pm (except 24 Dec.)
Limited number of participants

Overview tours in English language
Each Sunday, 3 pm
3 December / 17 December
7 January / 14 January
Limited number of participants

Art touches everyone - and in many different ways. Experiencing them together is the aim of the inclusive guided tours. In December, the Barriere*FREE*Day will take place in the Special Exhibition Raphael. Gold & Silk.
Fri, 8 December: Guided tour with translation into sign language (with interpreter)
Fri, 15 December: Guided tours in simple language
Fri, 22 December: Guided tour for people with dementia or forgetfulness and accompanying persons
Start: 3 pm / Duration: approx. 60 min.
Meeting point: Entrance hall of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, after ticket control (unless otherwise stated).
Admission and participation in the Barriere*FREI*Tag are free for people with disabilities and one accompanying person.
Free of charge, please register at julia.haeussler@khm.at
Subject to change!

Thursday evening at the museum
The Thursday Evening at the Museum series will also be focussing on the exhibition Raphael. Gold & Silk on the following dates.
Thu, 11 January 2024
7 pm each evening

Information on the individual events at: khm.at/experience/art-education/thursday-evenings-at-the-museum/
A valid museum ticket is required to attend these events.

More information: https://www.raffael-gold-seide.at/en/

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