Columbus Museum of Art
July 15, 2022–January 8, 2023
Raphael—The Power of Renaissance Images: The Dresden Tapestries and their Impact is a special exhibition and requires an additional fee.
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The Columbus Museum of Art is proud to be the only American venue for the exhibition Raphael—The Power of Renaissance Images: The Dresden Tapestries and their Impact, on display through January 8, 2023. The exhibition is centered around six tapestries, woven in the 17th century, on loan from the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery of Dresden), Germany, one of Europe’s most renowned museums.
Working in partnership with the Old Masters Picture Gallery (part of the Dresden State Art Collections) located in Columbus’s sister-city of Dresden, CMA will present for the first time to American audiences these monumental and historically significant works, woven directly from cartoons (painted compositions) by the Renaissance master Raphael. The Dresden tapestries underwent extensive restoration in the 1990s but had not been on display since 2008. Following their début in an exhibition for European audiences at the Dresden Picture Gallery last year, this will be the tapestries’ first ever trip to the United States. The exhibition focuses on the creation of the Dresden tapestries and introduces their various patrons and owners through the centuries—in particular, Charles I, King of England, and Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland—while also highlighting Raphael’s broad impact and influence on later artists.
Around 1516 Raphael completed his cartoons for tapestries commissioned to hang in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican. The Dresden tapestries are one of numerous sets woven from Raphael’s cartoons after his death. The tapestries depict scenes from the New Testament, most from the book Acts of the Apostles, focused on the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul. Their stirring themes and powerful style inspired future generations of artists for centuries to come. The tapestries’ impact is examined in the second part of the exhibition, which includes drawings by the hand of Raphael that were studies for his cartoons. Numerous other works—paintings, prints, drawings, and ceramic ware—were created by artists influenced by Raphael’s designs. Noted renaissance and baroque masters such as Rubens and Poussin are represented in the exhibition. One section focuses on the journey of the cartoons and tapestries through the centuries and across geographic boundaries. Portraits of major figures like Charles I and Augustus the Strong in both painting and sculpture highlight their respective roles in preserving the timeless legacy of the Raphael tapestries.
An accompanying catalogue, published in both German and English editions, provides a deeper examination and explores the art-historical legacy of the tapestries. Essays by noted scholars provide detailed discussions of the conception, creation, and restoration of the tapestries, as well as their reception across time. Raphael—The Power of Renaissance Images is a testament to the importance of the visual arts, especially textiles, as fundamental components in the understanding of history and culture. The Columbus Museum of Art is proud to bring these extraordinary works to new American audiences.
Programs have been recorded and archived in the resources below. Learn about Raphael—The Power of Renaissance Images: The Dresden Tapestries and their Impact from featured curators, historians, and other Raphael experts.
Wed@2: The Dresden Tapestries, Part 1: Raphael & the Tapestries
In this first of a two-part series in conjunction with the exhibition Raphael—The Power of Renaissance Images, David Stark, Chief Curator Emeritus, will discuss the six monumental tapestries in the exhibition, woven in the 17th century from large cartoons (paintings) created in the previous century by the Renaissance master Raphael.
Wed@2: The Dresden Tapestries, Part 2: The Impact—Works Inspired by the Tapestries
In second of a series of two lectures on the exhibition Raphael—The Power of Renaissance Images, Carole Genshaft, curator-at-large, will discuss works in the exhibition that show the influence of or are related to the Dresden tapestries: prints and drawings, paintings, sculpture, and ceramic ware.
The History of the Old Masters Picture Gallery in Dresden
Dr. Stephan Koja, director of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, speaks about the history of this great European museum, from which the masterpieces in the current exhibition Raphael—The Power of Renaissance Images: The Dresden Tapestries and their Impact have been borrowed.
Member Opening Lecture
Listen to Dr. Stephan Koja, Director of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and Larissa Mohr, co-curator of the exhibition.
Member Opening Lecture
Listen to Helen Kohn, research assistant at the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and Francesca Croce, PhD candidate at the University of Vienna.
Peggy & Bob Walter
Hugh Westwater & Linda Larrimer
Beth Crane & Richard McKee
Ann & Tom Hoaglin
Elizabeth S. Johnson Family Trust
Carol Andreae & Jim Garland
Mike Petrecca & Heather Grant
Anne Powell Riley
Holly & Steve Wittmann
Deborah M. Anderson
Drs. Lawson & Mitchell
Nancy & Tom Lurie
Dr. Annegreth T. Nill
Miriam & Bernard Yenkin
Lucy Ackley & Robert Collier
Bette & Jerome Dare
The James Dicke Family
Dresden Sister City, Inc.
Alexa Konstantinos & Courtney Miller
Nannette & George Maciejunes
The exhibition is supported by the Charles Kleibacker Endowed Fund for Excellence
Additional funding provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities