An exhibition memorializing the 500th anniversary of the death of Renaissance artist Raphael opens in Rome this week but the show risks being clouded by the coronavirus pandemic affecting Italy.
The Scuderie del Quirinale gallery has sold approximately 70,000 tickets in online bookings even before the doors open to everyone, a record for such an exhibition; however, the government struggles to halt the infection and might yet cancel the event.
Amongst the measures that officials are contemplating are prohibiting public gatherings and ordering people to maintain a distance of a minimum of one meter from one another.
Over 2,500 people in Italy have been affected by the coronavirus in less than two weeks and at least 79 people have died.
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino was born in 1483 and died 37 years later after a sudden illness in Rome. He was one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation.
The exhibition covers not just his famed paintings but also his contribution to archaeology, architecture, and poetry, in addition to prints, sculpture and tapestry.
The curators have managed to carry collectively 204 artworks, along with 120 by Raphael himself and other items that give an insight into the era he lived. In essence, a period is often known as the High Renaissance, an enlightened age highlighted by a renewed interest in classical antiquity.
Today, Raphael’s masterpieces are found in museums all over the world, and many of them, along with Madrid’s Prado, London’s National Gallery and the Washington National Gallery of Art, have sent their priceless piece of art to Rome