• Germany's news in English

Raphael 'copy' unveiled as authentic artwork

The Local · 7 Dec 2011, 10:54

Published: 07 Dec 2011 10:54 GMT+01:00

The portrait of the man known as the “fearsome pope” is said to have been painted between 1511 and 1512. Two other versions have been authenticated as Raphael’s work - one which hangs today in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and another in the National Gallery in London.

This third version was long thought to have been the work of an imitator and was auctioned to a private collector in 2007. The Städel museum bought it for less than market value in 2010 and authenticated it as Raphael’s following extensive research and a thorough restoration.

Other paintings and drawings by Raphael have sold for tens of millions of euros. The Frankfurt Raphael will be displayed to the public from December 15.

“We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have secured such a high-calibre work of the High Renaissance for our collection of old master artists,” said Städel director Max Hollein.

“All test results prove the origin of the work in an Italian artist’s workshop of the early 16th century beyond a doubt,” said Jochen Sander, who heads the museum’s collection of so-called “old master” paintings – those produced by European painters before the early 1800s.

As in many works by master artists, assistants probably played a part in creating the painting. But the most technically demanding and important sections were probably painted by Raphael himself, Sander said.

The museum said the 106 centimetre high and 78 centimetre wide painting was not an exact replica of Raphael’s other works of the pope, most likely commissioned for propaganda purposes to hang in churches or in the homes of nobility. There are slight differences in the pope’s face and position of his chair, among other things, which the museum says point to a “very creative” painting process.

Raphael, who died in 1520 aged 39, is considered to be one of the greatest artists of his time and is well-known for his fresco work at the Vatican, where he was much beloved by Julius II. He assembled a large team of skilled artisans to help him, many of whom also became famous.

Story continues below…

The Local/DAPD/DPA/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

23:25 December 7, 2011 by maxbrando
WOW!! Way to go, Germany!!
Today's headlines
'We'll freeze Turkey talks' warns EU as arrests continue
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a radical purge against anyone suspected of complicity in the coup attempt. Photo: DPA

As Turkish authorities on Friday widened their sweeping post-coup crackdown to the business sector, the European Union's enlargement commissioner implicitly warned that the bloc would freeze Turkey's accession talks if the crackdown violated the rule of law.

I’m ashamed of Germany’s refugee failure: Green leader
Cem Özdemir. Photo: DPA

The head of the Green Party has responded angrily to Angela Merkel’s speech on refugees on Friday, saying he feels “ashamed at Germany’s failure".

German satirists mock Erdogan (and his penis)
Photo: DPA

Tempting fate?

Huge pro-Erdogan rally puts strain on Turkish community
Erdogan supporters at a rally in 2014. Photo: DPA

Tens of thousands of supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plan to rally in Cologne on Sunday, as tensions over Turkey's failed coup have put German authorities on edge.

How the Berlin startup scene is wasting its potential
Photo: DPA

"The truth is, there really isn't a truly successful international Berlin startup."

Five years' jail for German darknet weapons dealer
Photo: DPA

He had sold weapons to known Isis-sympathizers and far-right extremists.

Prickly Bavarian calls out cops on hedgehogs' noisy sex
Photo: DPA

Caught in the act.

International or German state school - which one's best?
Photo: DPA

Deciding between sending your child to a German state school or a private international school isn't easy. Max Bringmann has experienced both.

13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make

Sure-fire ways to get off on the wrong foot in the German language.

Captain Schweinsteiger retires from international football
Bastian Schweinsteiger. Photo: DPA

He has won a World Cup with Die Mannschaft and captained them at Euro 2016. On Friday Bastian Schweinsteiger announced his retirement from the national team.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Five things to know about guns in Germany
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd