It was back in 1984 when the two paintings of Saints Peter and Paul – both conceived by Fra Bartolomeo, and the second completed by his friend Raphael – were last exhibited.
The exhibition at that time coincided with the 500th anniversary of Sanzio’s birth. Today, starting on 25 September, almost four decades later, at the end of a more than symbolic cycle, on the occasion of the renewed solemnity of the fifth centenary of the Urbino master’s death, and in conjunction with the conference “Raphael in the Vatican” (27-29 September), the two paintings will once again leave the Pontifical Representative Apartment to be admired, after careful restoration in the Vatican laboratories, by the wider public of the Pope’s Museums.
Set up in Room XVII of the Vatican Pinacoteca, the exhibition event – curated by the Director of the Vatican Museums, Barbara Jatta, and the Director of the Department of the Arts, Guido Cornini, assisted by Fabrizio Biferali – is exceptional also because the paintings will be accompanied for the first time by drawings and preparatory cartoons specially loaned by the Uffizi Galleries, full partners in the initiative and the scientific project.
The Raphaelesque Year in the Vatican – although disrupted by events and extended in its duration by the health emergency – could not find a more worthy and shared conclusion under the protective and auspicious mantle of the Patrons of the City of Rome.