The archaeology of Raphael’s drawings: uncovering new sketches and methodologies
The paper will explore Raphael as draughtsman with a focus on the materiality of his drawings, and in so doing it will present new discoveries.
Over the past thirty years, approaches to the study of works on paper have gradually moved beyond univocal questions of connoisseurship. Recent research shows the effectiveness of looking at drawings as archaeological objects: questions on materials and techniques provide new insights into the cognitive and gestural nature of drawing, while scientific analytical methods can be an effective aid to uncover major information.
Raphael offers an extraordinary case-study. From chalks to charcoal, inks and metalpoints, there was no medium that he did not employ. Of each he exploited their potential to create objects of extreme beauty and eloquence in their own right. In looking at a range of Raphael’s sheets across his career, particular emphasis will be placed on their ‘stratigraphy’, and on the artist’s graphic intelligence and profound visual culture that the layers reveal.
The Conference is held by Angelamaria Aceto, Research Assistant Ashmolean Museum