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Raphael masterpiece comes home from London

La Fornarina featured in National Gallery 500th anniversary show

(ANSA) - ROME, AUG 9 - Raphael's Portrait of a Young Woman, also known as La Fornarina or the baker woman, has returned home to Rome's Palazzo Barberini National Art Gallery after featuring highly in a delayed landmark show at London's National Gallery devoted to the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance master's death on Good Friday 1520.
    The British gallery had loaned in its place The Lady with the Squirrel, a masterpiece by Handis Holbein, which will now return to London.
    The exchange is part of Barberini Gallery Director Flaminia Gennari Santori,'s strategy of valorising international collaboration, the Roman museum said.
    Raphael's masterpiece was made between 1518 and 1519. It is now back in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Palazzo Barberini Corsini, Rome, just off Piazza Barberini.
    It is probable that the picture was in the painter's studio at his death in 1520, and that it was modified and then sold by his assistant Giulio Romano.
    The woman is traditionally identified with the fornarina (baker) Margherita Luti, Raphael's Roman lover who refused to marry him, though this has been questioned.
    Alternatively, it can be argued that this is not a portrait of a specific woman, but rather Raphael's interpretation of the belle donne theme and a depiction of a courtesan.
    Still, another interpretation of who the model is identifies the figure as a witch. (ANSA).


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