Academic Notes

This story covers the periods in Italy in the 5th, 6th and 19th centuries; including the noble families, Popes, and relationships with other countries, who were at the highest time of diplomatic pursuit and conflicts of interest.

Many interesting topics can be researched and discussed in a class of history, art, state and shurch relationship from the 15th to the 19th Centuries.

  • Raphael was born in Urbino where the ruler was the Dukes of Montefeltro and was one of the many Dynasties governing each region in the Italian Peninsula. Marriages were an important way to gain more power. He was married to Elisabetta Gonzaga, (from a powerful noble family) and they patronized Raffaello (see the chapter on Raffaello) 
  • The church and the noble families were patronizing the arts, and the Artists created the most impressive work of the century. (See Chapter on the history of those noble families like Pio da Carpi, Farnese, Barberini )
  • Some states in the Italian peninsula and some of the Popes in power at the time, had the same interests and work together to change events to gain more power, while some States had animosity toward one another, had great dissents and had great losses, on either side.  
  • Cardinals and Popes were elected from the members of the most powerful noble families, they had friends and enemies, therefore their nomination was dictated by the most powerful friends they had at that time. (see chapter Cardinal Pio da Carpi and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese)
  • In the fifteen-hundred, there was a great crisis on the faith of the Catholic Church. Pope Paul III had to defend it against Chauvinism and Lutheranism and called for the opening of the most historical event in the Catholic Church, the Council of Trento. It went, on and of, for thirteen years, and is always mentioned in the history books. (See Chapter Pope Paul III, Farnese )
  • In the fifteen and sixteen hundred, the map of Italy was divided into many small States and a larger area was the Papal State. Many wars between the States and other Nations had changed for many years on the map of Italy.
  • What changed for-ever the status of each state and the church in the Italian Peninsula was the Unification of Italy started in 1861. 
  • Since that time the conflict became so great, dangerous and after the tragic WWII eventually ended the Italian Monarchy. 
  • The story of Monsignor Nardi and Cardinal Antonelli gives a glimpse of the conflict.

The true story is about the dilemma of the 1514 painting on canvas of the Madonna of Divine Love by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino and the 1518 painting on wood with the same composition. 

Highlights of the attribution dilemma: 

The exhibition at the Capodimonte Museum in Naples describes that it is by Raffaello, but many Art Historians believe it is by GianFrancesco Penni pupil of Raffaello. 

A very compelling discussion in Art History. “Which one is the original “Madonna of Divine Love by Raffaello”?

The painting described by Vasari in 1544 is not the same as the one on exhibit in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples. And if it is not, where is the original painting?

 It is for you to decide if the painting of this story is the original one or not. 

Let me know.