What we see in the photo is not the famous Raffaello masterpiece that many of you will certainly have already admired to the Uffizi. It is a copy and is located in the National Gallery of Capodimonte in Naples. It is said that one day Federico Gonzaga visiting Florence had been amazed by the beauty of this picture performed by Raffaello on behalf of Pope Leo X who had made himself portrayed together with the cousin Cardinal Giulio dei Medici (that is, the one destined to become Pope Clement VII) And to the other cardinal/cousin, Luigi de ‘Rossi. Federico Gonzaga asked that picture as a gift and Clement VII told him yes. When Ottaviano dei Medici he knew him a blow: no, he could not let herself leave lightly the masterpiece. So it was that Ottaviano decided to deceive the Pope, asking him for permission to be able to take the picture to equip him with a more beautiful frame. In reality Ottaviano called in secret Andrea del Sarto to make a copy, a copy that had to be perfect. Andrea del Sarto performed it. The result is what we see in the photo: I challenge anyone to recognize it from the original of Raffaello. The “crust”, if you can speak of crust, was sent to Mantua. Among other things, Giulio Romano, ex-Collaborator, indeed, worked in Mantua, indeed, Raffaello’s right arm, who had also taken part in the drafting of the original picture. It seems that not even he realized that it was a copy, so much had been well performed by Andrea Del Sarto who was not for nothing, the “painter without errors” was nicknamed. The picture then came from Mantua to Naples for hereditary … Today the only thing that can differentiate it from the original of Raffaello is the state of conservation slightly worse than that of the original. But otherwise it really looks like the photocopy of Raffaello’s masterpiece.
Another story, or better a variation of this one tell that Giulio Romano (Rome 1492/99-1546) during his visit to the Gonzaga collections. But Giulio (who also as a pupil and collaborator of the Urbine artist had to know how to know about the master’s paintings) does not wonder much and replies: “I do not respect it less (the copy) that he had raffael’s hand of hand, Indeed much more: because it is something out of nature that an excellent man imitates the way of another and the face so similar. ” What is the difference, at this point, between a false and a copy?
Can we define Andrea del Sarto a false?
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