MILAN.- 240.000 is the record-breaking number of visitors achieved by the traditional exhibition organised by Eni at Palazzo Marino, in collaboration with the Vatican Museums and the City of Milan. The success of The Madonna of Foligno (displayed from 28 November to 12 January) confirms the validity of Enis formula, appreciated, over the past six years, by over 1.2 million visitors who, before Raphaels work, had the opportunity of admiring masterpieces such as: Caravaggios The Conversion of Saint Paul (2008, over 160,000 visitors), Leonardo da Vincis Saint John the Baptist (2009, 180,000 visitors), Titians Woman with a Mirror (2010, over 190,000 visitors), Georges de La Tours Adoration of the Shepherds and Saint Joseph the Carpenter (2011, 210,000 visitors), and Canovas Cupid and Psyche with Gérards Psyche and Amor (2012, 227,000 visitors).
Before returning to the Art Gallery of the Vatican Museums, Raphael's outstanding canvas will make a stop at Foligno. From 18 to 26 January 2014, with the support of the Vatican Museums and of the City and Diocese of Foligno, Eni will take The Madonna of Foligno to the Monastery of St. Anne, which housed the work for 217 years before being taken away by the French in 1797 and placed in Paris.
The Madonna of Foligno was transferred in 1565 from the Church of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli in Rome, for which the painting had been realized in 1511-12; in the same monastery also lived sister Anne, granddaughter of Sigismondo de Conti, who had commissioned the work. After the requisition and the subsequent Frenchs restitution of the opera, a series of ordeals brought The Madonna of Foligno back to Rome, the city in which it was commissioned. With the help of Eni and of the Vatican Museums, the city of Foligno has fulfilled its long standing desire to have back Raphaels masterpiece whose history is so much bonded to its territory.