Raphael – The Lord of the Arts, 3D

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Raphael – The Lord of the Arts, 3D (Raffaello – Il principe delle arti, in 3D)

original title:

Raffaello – Il principe delle arti, in 3D

directed by:


Flavio Parenti, Angela Curri, Enrico Lo Verso, Marco Cocci, Riccardo Niseem Onorato, Antonio Paolucci, Antonio Natali, Vincenzo Farinella



costume design:


Sky, in collaboration with Vatican Museums





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Raphael – the Lord of the Arts –is the first film adaptation ever made on one of the most famous artists in the world, Raphael Sanzio. Few figures in the history of art have had a life so full of intensity and fascination quite like Raphael Sanzio. He died aged just 37 and yet managed to leave an indelible mark on the history of art. Head and heart, imitation and invention, courtesy and stubbornness, vice and virtue, these were the key traits of his personality. Raphael’s destiny seems to have been planted in his roots. His father, Giovanni Santi, was a painter and an intellectual at the court of Federico da Montefeltro and was probably the person who inspired him and first trained him. Orphaned at the age of eleven, the only course left open to Raphael seemed to be art. It was a courageous choice to make and one that would prove successful. At the age of just 17, he became a ‘magister’ or master, and this was the glorious beginning of his unstoppable road to fame. From child prodigy to lord of the arts in the space of just two decades, Raphael knew how to take advantage of the extraordinary human encounters in his life and turn them into a useful means to advance his career. He learned from the great masters and surpassed them, he challenged them and won, he observed their work and did better. He entered the good graces of the Pope and powerful people, he loved life and had no qualms about living it to the full, intensely and with passion.
Raphael’s life was as unforgettable as his art, and this film tells the story of it, by retracing his steps from the early days in Urbino to the glorious period spent in Rome, that represents the peak of his life and career as well as its epilogue. It is an intimate dialogue between the artist’s life and his work, unfolding through interesting, expert commentary from famous art historians, and fine historical reconstructions, veritable tableaux vivants inspired by 18th Century paintings depicting Raphael during the most important moments of his life. We start off from the family home in Urbino, where Raphael as a child learned the first rudiments of art, and then move on to the Ducal Palace, where as a young boy he first came into contact with the great masterpieces of the era. Aged just seventeen he received his first commissions as a ‘magister’ and created his first masterpieces including the famous “Marriage of the Virgin”, surpassing his master, Perugino.
We continue through to Florence and the unforgettable years in that city when you could meet both Michelangelo and Leonardo at the same time, and where Raphael produced a series of famous Madonnas, from Madonna del Cardellino (Madonna of the Goldfinch) to the Belle Jardinière (Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist).
We end up in Rome, the city that consecrated his art and made him a legend for all time. In the Vatican the film celebrates the famous works that are part of the Vatican Museums: the Raphael Rooms, the Madonna of Foligno, the Coronation of the Virgin and the famous Transfiguration. We are also taken to exclusive rooms inside the Apostolic Palace, private places not open to the public, that make an impressive visual impact: the Vatican Logge and the apartment of Cardinal Bibbiena. Another important exclusive in the film is the reconstruction of the Sistine Chapel as it appeared on the night of December 26th 1519, when beneath the vault painted with frescoes by Michelangelo, the first 7 tapestries by Raphael were displayed (today they hang in the Vatican Pinacoteca). At that time the Last Judgement did not yet exist and the scant evidence handed down attests to the earlier presence of frescoes by Perugino and Michelangelo. These frescoes were reconstructed from the information available and, using virtual reality technology, were placed inside the Sistine Chapel along with the tapestries. It was a complex, sophisticated never-before-attempted operation, and was intended not to be a philological reconstruction of something that has been lost forever, but to give back to history a convincing impression of how spectacular the Sistine Chapel had been then, in a way that has not been seen for the past five centuries.
Rome for Raphael was also Villa Farnesina, where the splendid frescoes of the ‘Triumph of Galatea’ and the ‘Loggia of Psiche’ can be seen, and which was the setting of his love story with the woman who would be with him to the end of his life - la Fornarina, depicted in the splendid portraits ‘La Velata’ (Woman with a Veil) and ‘La Fornarina’.
In an original and innovative dialogue between the art world and the world of cinema, the life of the great artist is intertwined with commentary delivered with feeling by important art historians: Antonio Paolucci, Vincenzo Farinella and Antonio Natali. The story is told through a total of 20 locations and an analysis of 70 artworks, of which more than 40 are his most famous and most representative works. Added to all this is the most advanced 3D and 4K technology, and an arsenal of equipment what with camera dollies, jib arms, helicopters and drones, as well as dimensionalization techniques to enhance the immersive experience.
This is a project developed by the creators of “Florence and the Uffizi in 3D” and “Vatican Museums in 3D” supported by contributions from some of the best creative talents the Italian film industry has to offer, such as production designer Francesco Frigeri and costume designer Maurizio Millenotti.
Playing the part of Raphael is actor Flavio Parenti, with Enrico Lo Verso in the role of Giovanni Santi, Angela Curri as La Fornarina and Marco Cocci as Pietro Bembo.
Beauty comes to life in a crescendo through the brushwork and enduring genius of one of the most talented artists the world has ever known.