Urbino, Via Raffaello Sanzio, 57
(Urbino, 1483 - Roma, 1520)
Raffaello birth place is part of the ‘Museo Diffuso’ project. It is a
specialized Museum. This precious building was bought in 1875 by the
‘Academia Raffaello’ (Raffaello Academy). It was then restored and
made the headquarters of the academy.
Raffaello was born in the house of his father, Giovanni Santi, on 6th
April 1483. There he initiated himself to the Art of painting following in
his father’s footsteps. He was in fact a painter and a writer of
treatises himself. At the time when Raffaello’s mother died, in 1500, he
was already apprenticing at Perugino’s workshop, in Perugia. He soon
moved to Florence (1505) and was then called by the Pope himself to Rome
It was Bramante that advised the Pope to do so and it was him again that
influenced the architectural style of Raffaello. He soon became the
favourite artist at the Vatican court. His researches on space were best
expressed in ‘Cappella Chigi’ (Chigi’s Chapel), in Santa Maria del
Popolo, in Rome and in ‘Palazzo Pandolfini’ in Florence.
The house, built in the fifteenth century, was bought by Giovanni Santi in
1460. He was an humanist a painter and a poet. He worked at the Federico
da Montefeltro court. The house was a place where living space and
workshop coexisted. It was built inspired to the Palazzo Ducale, as the
style of the fifteenth century wanted. The building has a small courtyard
that once should had been a porch that led to the workshop.
Frames and doors inside follow the fashion of the time and so do the
typical stone chairs, the panelled ceiling and the windows outlook.
Probably the windows on the first floor underwent restoration in 1600. In
1653 the building was bought by an architect from Urbino, Muzio.
The ‘Accademia Raffaello’ founded in 1869 by Pompeo Gherardi, became
owner of the house and started to sponsor researches about the life and
works of Raffaello. On the first floor visitors can appreciate the
beautiful panelled ceiling and the painting ‘L’Annunciazione’ (The
Annunciation) by Giovanni Santi and copies of some works of Raffaello
dating back to 1800.
There is then a small room, probably Raffaello was born in there. A
drawing, supposedly by Bramante (Fermignano, 1444 – Rome 1514) is worth
having attention and so it is the collection of Renaissance ceramics,
temporarily kept there but part of the Volponi collection. On the upper
floor there are the offices of the Accademia, but also manuscripts,
portraits, coins, that make a complete celebrative and evocative
nineteenth century collection.
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