§1-3 Raphael – A thin, unimpressive painting

§1 Raphael Sanzio – Self-Portrait (1504-1506)


Exhibition title: Raphael
Venue: Tokyo European Art Museum
Term: March 3 – June 2, 2013

A self-portrait of Raphael Sanzio when he was approxiamtely 21 – 23 years old. It is said that the picture was painted while he was in his hometown, Ulbino, during the era when he was lived and worked in Florence. Although the authenticity of the painting had been disputed, it has been proven that there can be little doubt that this is not an authentic work due to a recent scientific inquiry.

Courtesy: Ufizi Museum in Florence




By the way, do you think this a Raphael masterpiece?



This is obviously not one of his masterpieces. As I said, there were better paintings in the exhibition. For instance, the drawing technique used in “La Mata,” such as the one which made full use for expressing the shadows of the folds in the model’s clothing, was quite elaborate.
Honestly, in comparison with those classical masterpieces, this self-portrait is much less valuable. I just, personally, like this kind of rough touch and modern, minimalistic style. It can even be said that “this is a thin, unimpressive painting.”




And his face is just your taste.





Oh yeah, what’s wrong?
And I’d like to say that this painting has a high degree of an “illusionary factor.”





What’s that?



Look closely at his face. You see thin flaws running from below his right eye through cheek to neck, as if he is shedding black tears. He looks to be crying unemotionally, doesn’t he? It really moves me.





Let’s see… (wears glasses). Ah, yes. I see.
I wonder how on earth you can come up with such a worthless… ah, fancy-free idea.





I cannot tell you how I like those exquisite flaws.





Do you like flaws on painting?



Yes, I do have fetishism upon flaws.
Because I can feel the passage of time and also feel as if it is the very moment when his beautiful face is start to deteriorate, like a thin glass about to break. Also, it makes me feel that I am really standing in front of the painting, at this very moment. You cannot enjoy that by simply reading a catalog.




I think you are doing the right thing as a person who enters a kind of theme park seeking enjoyment by paying an entrance fee.





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