Tracing the Visual Language of Raphael’s Circle to 1527


In Tracing the Visual Language of Raphael’s Circle to 1527, Alexis Culotta examines how the Renaissance master’s style – one infused with borrowed visual quotations from other artists both past and present – proved influential in his relationship with associate Baldassare Peruzzi and in the development of the artists within his thriving workshop.

Shedding new light on the important, yet often-overshadowed, figures within this network, this book calls upon key case studies to convincingly illustrate how this visual language and its recombination evolved during Raphael’s Roman career and subsequently served as a springboard for artistic innovation for these close associates as they collaborated in the years following Raphael’s death.

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Alexis R. Culotta, Ph.D. (2014), University of Washington, is a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Other publications on Raphael’s circle include her recent chapter in Breaking with Convention in Italian Visual Culture (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017).
“Despite the vast literature on it, the operation and importance of Raphael’s workshop is still much debated and little understood. This study restores agency and interest in artists and works of art that have long been little considered or overshadowed by Raphael himself. The author demonstrates that Raphael (1483–1520) developed a style of “recombination”— infused with visual quotations from ancient and contemporaneous artists—that proved influential in the development of a shared visual language among members of his entourage. Case studies illustrate how this shared, collaborative style evolved during Raphael’s lifetime and was perpetuated by members of the workshop in the years immediately following the artist’s death.”

W. E. Wallace, Washington University, in CHOICE Connect, a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, Volume 58, issue 10
List of Illustrations

 1  Reclaiming Raphael’s Workshop
 2  Mechanics of a Visual Language: Imitation/Emulation/Repetition/Recombination
 3  Recombination in Light of Competition and Collaboration
 4  Revisiting Recombination within the Workshop
 5  Continuing the Conversation

1 Origins of a Visual Language
 1  The Prevalent Language of the Classical
 2  The Visual Language of the Papacy
 3  The Visual Language of Raphael
 4  The Language of Recombination in the Stanza della Segnatura

2 Visual Language through the Lens of Competition at the Villa Farnesina
 1  Commissions from Agostino Chigi
 2  Raphael, Sebastiano, and Competition

3 Collaborative Practice and Emerging Workshop Mentalities
 1  Partnering with Peruzzi
 2  Raphael’s Workshop Takes Form
 3  The Capstone of Chigi’s Villa
 4  Revisiting the “Raphael Rooms”
 5  The Stanza dell’Incendio
 6  The Vatican Loggie
 7  Sala di Costantino
 8  Beyond the Vatican

4 Giovanni da Udine, Perino del Vaga, and Polidoro da Caravaggio, at the Palazzo Baldassini
 1  Melchiorre Baldassini (1470–1522)
 2  Sangallo’s Designs
 3  Giovanni da Udine and the Quotation of Antiquity
 4  Perino del Vaga, Polidoro da Caravaggio, and the Piano Nobile

5 Giulio Romano, Gianfrancesco Penni, and Polidoro da Caravaggio at the Villa Lante al Gianicolo
 1  Baldassarre Turini (1486–1543)
 2  A Challenge of Attribution and Dating
 3  Giulio’s Designs
 4  The Lateral Sale
 5  The Grand Salone

6 Polidoro da Caravaggio and Maturino da Firenze from the Frescoed Facade to the Fetti Chapel
 1  Fra Mariano Fetti (d. 1531)
 2  A Complicated History
 3  Peruzzi, Polidoro, and Painted Illusion
 4  Illusions of Landscape in the Fetti Chapel

7 Santa Maria Della Pace and a Pastiche by Peruzzi
 1  Filippo Sergardi (1466–1541)
 2  A Pastiche of Figures
 3  A Pastiche of Architecture


All interested in Raphael as well as the key figures discussed (Peruzzi, Giulio, Penni, da Udine, Perino, and Polidoro); also anyone investigating visual exchange, workshop practice, or the specific projects noted in sixteenth-century Rome (e.g., the Palazzo Baldassini, the Villa Lante al Gianicolo, the Fetti Chapel or work in Santa Maria della Pace). Keywords: Raphael, Peruzzi, Giulio Romano, Gianfrancesco Penni, Giovanni da Udine, Perino del Vaga, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Sebastiano del Piombo, Renaissance, Rome, workshop, collaboration, competition, sixteenth century.