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Stefano Graziani. Documents on Raphael
“Investigating the transformative ability of photography, Graziani highlights the altered nature of his subjects. In practice, none of them correspond to the work that appeared to Raphael’s eyes, yet in any case we are dealing with the result of different events and modifications occurring over the course of time. From restorations, renovations, and reconstructions to ex novo realizations based on original plans, these projects indicate the distance between past and present.” —Francesco Zanot. Documents on Raphael is not only a rediscovery project carried out on the five hundredth anniversary of Raphael’s death, but above all an operation of re-visioning. Stefano Graziani’s photographs explore the works of the artist from Urbino—with particular reference to his output as an architect—their transformation over time, and his own process that translated them into images. Graziani puts variation before permanence and reflects on the very concept of the restoration, the archive, conservation, display, and of course the original, that last so dear to the photographic debate, especially considering that Raphael never saw any of his works as we see them today. Graziani’s images, combined with reliable evidence regarding Raphael’s production, refer back to the most iconic classical genres of representation: landscape and still life.