The Allegrini Prize 2020<br/>awarded to “Raffaello 1520-1483″
17 November 2020

The Allegrini Prize 2020
awarded to “Raffaello 1520-1483″

Marzia Faietti and Matteo Lafranconi, curators of the exhibition ‘Raffaello 1520 – 1483’, held at the Scuderie del Quirinale, have won the 2020 Premio Allegrini (Allegrini Prize) ‘L’Arte di mostrare l’Arte’ 2020 (The Art of Exhibiting Art). The ceremony has been postponed to 2021, after a ‘symbolic’ award ceremony online.

On the 500th anniversary of the death of the great Renaissance artist, the exhibition, organized by Ales - Scuderie del Quirinale and the Uffizi Galleries, has become an act of gratitude from the entire country to one of the masters who most contributed to shaping Italian art and most influenced the development of painting in the last five centuries. Inaugurated on 3rd March, the exhibition had to close due to the public health emergency on 8th March. It opened again on 2nd June with night openings to great success amongst the public.

“This year we did not want to suspend anything, – explains Marilisa Allegrini – quite the opposite, faced with difficulties, we must reaffirm the commitment to do even more. From the viewpoint of history and professional background, I can say that difficult, almost impossible, harvests often yield delicious, unforgettable wines with great personality. The same goes for major exhibitions. Our Raffaello, and his pupil, Giulio Romano, who designed Villa Della Torre in Fumane di Valpolicella, would agree”.

“It is at difficult times that the best in us must come out – echoes Marzia Faietti, curator for the Uffizi Galleries and co-organizer of the exhibition together with the Scuderie and lenders of about 50 works out of a total of 200. – This was the case with Raphael, who was able to navigate the difficulties of the historical period, the needs of the client and those of the artist. There is a still a message that is very relevant underlying his universal art, characterized by a great sense of professionalism and the ability to reconcile opposites. This is not a question of compromise, but a rare equilibrium that has undoubted repercussions on social and personal life, associated with calm communication that reached many, despite the complexity of its contents. We know he was also a very likeable man. He had the ability to work with others while allowing them freedom of expression. What we find in the School of Athens is a hymn to philosophical peace, tolerance, love. Raphael is our ambassador in the world, he is the ambassador of an extraordinary Italy”.

“There have been two difficult ‘harvests’ for us –comments Matteo Lafranconi, director of the Scuderie del Quirinale – The first, after the unexpected closure, in March, a few days after the inauguration, and the second, with the difficulties of reopening during the lockdown. The exhibition started again on 2nd June, just as it was supposed to close: on a symbolic date, creating that same idea of circularity that we had used as a narrative tool in the exhibition, which goes backwards in time, starting from Raphael’s last period, that of his greatest universality in the cultural circuit. Here an idea was created of resilience, resistance, flexibility and a relaunch with a new-found acceleration. We found proof of cultural citizenship that hadn’t been seen for some time, around an idea of peace that was not just symbolic. During its last few days, the exhibition stayed open 24/7, and it was amazing to see people arriving in a disciplined way throughout the day and night. All this was possible – concludes Lafranconi – thanks to the co-organization of the Uffizi with the Scuderie del Quirinale and the assistance of the Vatican Museums and the Galleria Borghese. In receiving this award, I bring with me all those who helped set up[ the exhibition] and who creatively interpreted even the curators most daring ideas”.

According to the reasoning behind the award – judged by a jury chaired by Antonio Foscari and now in its 8th year – with its singular chronological inversion of dates, this exhibition has managed to illustrate the all-round greatness of Raphael, summarized in the versatility of a genius who was not only a painter, but also a fresco artist, architect, antiquarian and author of unsurpassed invention in tapestries and prints. With the conspicuous selection of drawings exhibited, the curators have intelligently highlighted how each work of Urbino-born artist was the result of a refined quest for perfection, the key feature of a painter whose life was prematurely cut short, interrupting the execution of admirable projects. The works he has left us remain eternal and as such they managed to overcome the limitations imposed by the current complex situation. Having reopened after a few months, the exhibition ended on 30th August to resounding public success”.

Allegrini has sought to communicate its essence and identifying characteristics by sponsoring Italian and international cultural institutions. The development of relationships with the Hermitage Mueum in St. Petersburg, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and with the numerous intellectuals periodically invited to Villa Della Torre (the company’s headquarters), a Renaissance monument attributed to Giulio Romano with a temple built by Michele Sanmicheli, is to be interpreted in this context. The Prize “L’Arte di mostrare l’Arte (The Art of exhibiting Art) was created along the same lines. It is a prestigious acknowledgment of those who, due to their vision, research, originality in finding and setting up the works, have been able to elaborate an incomparable experiential journey of the heart and mind.
In previous years, the Prize was awarded to the curators of the exhibition “Pietro Bembo e l’invenzione del Rinascimento”, Davide Gasparotto, Adolfo Tura and Guido Beltramini; Paola Marini and Bernard Aikema for the exhibition “Paolo Veronese: l’illusione della realtà”; Salvatore Settis, Rem Koolhaas and Fondazione Prada for the art show “Serial/Portable Classic”; Luca Massimo Barbero, curator of the exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence “Da Kandinsky a Pollock. La grande arte dei Guggenheim”; Maria Luisa Pacelli, director of Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara; Xavier Salomon, curator of the Frick Collection in New York; Arte Sella, the open-air exhibition at Borgo Valsugana.