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The Art of Papal Rome Exhibition will be a World Exclusive at the National Gallery of Canada
Annibale Carracci, Hercules Resting, c. 1595–1597. Black chalk, heightened with white on blue paper (faded to brown-green), partly squared in black chalk, laid down on beige laid paper, 35.5 × 52.4 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund

ONTARIO.- Italian art takes centre stage this spring and throughout the summer at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). The major exhibition From Raphael to Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome, is on view exclusively at the NGC from May 29 until September 7, 2009, and examines Renaissance Rome through a careful selection of 150 exceptional paintings and drawings. Presented by Sun Life Financial, the works assembled for this extraordinary exhibition are from a particularly ambitious and dramatic period of cultural history.

From Raphael to Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome is arranged chronologically, pope by pope, from Julius II to Clement VIII, revealing an amazing diversity and a stunning wealth of works created through the unique arts patronage of the Roman Catholic Church. Some of the most celebrated masters of Italian art, including Raphael, Michelangelo, Salviati, Vasari, and Barocci, are strongly represented. The show also features lesser-known but nonetheless superb artists, many of whom have only recently been appreciated for their skill and relevance to the history of art.

From Raphael to Carracci will also present a number of recent acquisitions by the NGC, including the remarkable work by Francesco Salviati Virgin and Child with Angel that was purchased in 2005 with to the support of the NGC Volunteers Circle and the patrons of the NGC Foundation’s Renaissance Ball. In addition, an oil sketch by Cristoforo Roncalli for his altarpiece for Saint Peters will be displayed which is entitled The Death of Sapphira – a subject famously treated by Raphael.

“Many exhibitions have been held celebrating Renaissance art in Florence and Venice, but rarely has the period of the 16th century in Rome been given such prominence,” noted NGC director, Marc Mayer. “We are privileged to present From Raphael to Carracci to the Canadian public and international visitors because most of the works have never been displayed outside of Italy before or have appeared together in a single exhibition. I would also like to add that we are greatly indebted to the exhibition’s curator Dr. David Franklin, whose expertise has facilitated the realization of this exceptional exhibition, as well as to the lenders for their vision and generosity.”

“Sun Life Financial is pleased to be the presenting sponsor of the National Gallery of Canada exhibit From Raphael to Carracci,” said Sun Life Financial Chief Executive Officer, Donald A. Stewart. “As a long-standing supporter of the arts in Canada, we welcome this opportunity to continue our partnership with the world-renowned National Gallery by presenting this unique collection of 16th-century art.”

From Raphael to Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome is designed as a sequel to the exhibition on Renaissance Florence held in Ottawa in 2005. The organizing committee, led by David Franklin, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the NGC, is composed of distinguished art historians including Rhoda Eitel-Porter, Sebastian Schütze, and Louis A. Waldman

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