In the year of the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, Giovanni Cova & C. dedicates its panettone to the great artist
A panettone dedicated to Raphael
While all the exhibitions organized to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death are close because of the pandemic, Giovanni Cova & C., a renowned pastry shop in Milan, has teamed up with two cultural institutions, Pinacoteca di Brera and Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, to dedicate due attention to the Renaissance painter and architect. This collaboration has resulted into the Raffaello line: two paintings by Raphael decorate the boxes of Giovanni Cova & C.’s artisanal panettone, further enriched by a book created by the Milanese art galleries, which describes the two masterpieces, and six coupons that can be used for admission to exhibitions until June 2021. The classic panettone is wrapped in a reproduction of The Marriage of the Virgin, a painting kept in the Pinacoteca di Brera. The second work is a fresco whose preparatory cartoon is kept in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, The School of Athens, painted by Raphael in the Stanza della Segnatura (in the Vatican), the room where the Church’s most significant documents were signed and sealed. This is the box containing the Grancioccolato, the panettone filled with chocolate chips and decorated with chopped hazelnuts.
The Marriage of the Virgin
For his first important work, Raphael drew inspiration from two works by Perugino, his master, The Giving of the Keys to St Peter, a fresco he painted for the Sistine Chapel, and The Marriage of the Virgin, the altarpiece commissioned by the confraternity of St Joseph for the Chapel of the Sacred Ring in Perugia’s cathedral. Perugino’s influence can be seen in the emphasis on perspective, the relationship between the figures and the architecture, the sweetness of the figures. However, Raphael’s disposition of the figures is less rigidly related to the architecture, and the relation between the figures is more informal and animated. The pupil had already become the master.
The School of Athens
The decoration of the Stanza della Segnatura is traditionally considered as Raphael’s greatest work. Pope Julius II, who commissioned it, was a cultured man who surrounded himself with the most illustrious personalities of the Renaissance including Michelangelo and Bramante. The School of Athens is just one of the four philosophical frescoes occupying the walls of the room and probably the most famous of Raphael’s frescoes, which conveys calm and harmony. This work is a complex allegory of philosophy, showing Plato and Aristotle surrounded by other philosophers, in a magnificent architectural setting inspired by Bramante’s design for the new St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.