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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Raphael: The Power of Renaissance Imagery—The Dresden Tapestries and Their Impact

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Columbus Museum of Art / Columbus / Art

For the first time in history, a piece of the Sistine Chapel has arrived in the United States. The Dresden Tapestries, commissioned by Pope Leo X and designed in 1515 by the artist Raphael, served as the final embellishments to the historic chapel. Using silver and gold thread, colored wools and silks, Raphael’s cartoons—scenes from the Gospels and the Acts of Apostles—were woven into tapestries with a sublimity that rivaled Michelangelo’s ceiling. The day they were placed on the walls, the Papal Master of Ceremonies, Paris de Grassis, wrote in his diary, “By universal judgment there exists nothing more beautiful in the world.” Now, six of the Dresden Tapestries are at the Columbus Museum of Art. With paintings, sculptures, and prints, the exhibition illuminates the incredible history of these tapestries and their impact on future generations of artists. —Nyla Gilstrap

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Columbus Museum of Art 480 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215
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