Raphael: Lord of the Arts

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Sunday, 10 June, 5:00pm – FINAL

From the team that brought you The Vatican Museums comes a captivating portrait of one of the greatest Renaissance artists, as well as one of the most influential for the subsequent history of modern art.


An ambitious whirlwind tour of the Renaissance artist’s masterworks.

Widely regarded and celebrated as an “enfant prodige” by both his peers and generations to follow, together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael forms the traditional triad of the Renaissance masters. This visually stunning new film combines in-depth explorations of Raphael’s astonishing art, and immersive historical reconstructions, inspired by 18th Century paintings depicting fragments of Raphael’s life.

Using the most advanced 3D and 4K technology, the story is told through a total of 20 locations and 70 artworks, of which more than 40 are his most famous and most representative works. The life of the great artist is intertwined with commentary delivered with feeling by important art historians: Antonio Paolucci, Vincenzo Farinella and Antonio Natali. The film sheds a light on his life and his exquisite craft that marked the passage from the Renaissance to the Mannerism and brought the figurative art to unprecedented heights.

What is remarkable is the access to these works granted to director Viotto, who takes us right into the Sistine Chapel, which boasts the famous frescoes of Raphael’s biggest rival, Michelangelo. We see a reconstruction of how the chapel appeared in the early 16th century, when Raphael was given a papal commission to create a series of tapestries. Viotto also takes us into the Vatican to view the Stanze di Raffaello, a suite of chambers known as the Raphael Rooms, which contain a number of his frescos.

This is a passionately told reconstruction of the events of Raphael’s short but prolific career, and features just about all of his most well-known works, including The Woman With the Veil, The Transfiguration, and Madonna of the Goldfinch. Viotto takes us to about 20 different sites in addition to the Vatican, including the Palazzo Ducale in Urbino and Brancacci Chapel in Florence. One is left astounded by the sheer impact of Raphael, who died on Good Friday at age thirty-seven from a mysterious and sudden illness. He left behind a staggering legacy, to which only those of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci can compare.

Italy 2017, 83 min, rated G
Directed by Luca Viotto
Starring Flavio Parenti

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