Raffaello in Rimini: Madonna Diotallevi

madonna diotallevi

Today, April 6th 2020, five hundred years have passed since the death of the great artist from Urbino Raphael. What does the “divine painter” have to do with Rimini? Well, there would be a connection and as beautiful to tell, even if, given the circumstances we are experiencing, for now we cannot fully experience it. Let’s talk about the painting called Madonna Diotallevi by Raphael, who was supposed to reach his place of origin, Rimini, to commemorate the 500 years since the painter’s death.

In fact, in October 2019 it had been announced that the painting would leave its seat at the state museums of Berlin to reach the city museum, here in Rimini, and be the jewel of an exhibition that highlighted the Rimini Renaissance.

The Madonna Diotallevi is called this way, because it was part of the private art collection of Riminese Audiface Diotallevi, and it seems that it was sold to a German collector, Gustav Friedrich Waagen, around 1841. Audiface Diotallevi was the penultimate gonfalonier of Rimini (1857- 1859) while ruling the Papal state in our city.

He did not make a great figure as a treasurer, indeed, there are those who called him an incapable: like the historian Luigi Tonini. However, the gonfalonier had a very good and profitable propensity for art, not only for painting. It is said that he strongly wanted the municipal theater, and that he paid 784 shields to make a sumptuous and elegant curtain. During his life he collected ancient paintings of great value and some are still exhibited in the museum of the city, such as the polyptych with the coronation of the Virgin of Giuliano di Rimini.


Madonna Diotallevi: a even more important Raffaello because of his youngness

At the beginning “the Madonna” was attributed to Perugino. Adolfo Venturi instead entrusts the creation of “the Madonna” to a generic master of the area. Now all scholars agree in the attribution of the painting to Raffaello Sanzio. First of all, the art historian Longhi, studying its lines, composition and style, hypothesized that it was made by Raphael. It dates from around 1502 – 1504, or earlier than that of the Child and San Giovannino. The drawing is in fact in a more immature stage, and tells of a young Raphael who would later be considered the greatest painter of all time.

We keep an eye, as usual, valuable initiatives of our city. Keep in touch with uas and we’ll give you updates!