[ June 2013 ] In the Farnese Palace in Piacenza in taly, they were holding an exhibition on Raffaello’s ‘”Sistine Madonna”.
This painting is famous for two angels with vacant expression painted below Madonna.
It is now in Dresden in Germany, but originally it was in Piacenza.
In 1512, then Pope Julius 2 (Giuliano della Rovere) commissioned Raffaello, to show his gratitude to the city which stood by him when he had a war against France.
The picture was in San Sisto church near Farnese palace, but after the Farnese family got extinct in 1731, it was sold to Germany in 1754.
Now in San Sisto, they have a copy of this painting.
As you can see from the photo, the exhibition showed the comparison of the two.
It was clear that the original was better, much more smooth.
This copy was painted before the original being sold, probably around 1697, when they changed its frame to the one of baroque style.
They do not know who painted this, but they found the initial ‘GM’ at the bottom on the left hand side, when they were cleaning the picture recently.
I went to see the actual painting in San Sisto, but it was far end of the alter, and could see only from afar.