Tom Henry, Professor of History of Art in the School of Arts and Director of the Rome School of Classical and Renaissance Studies, has delivered an online lecture for the Think Kent series entitled ‘Men in Black: How to Interpret Raphael’s Self-Portrait with a Friend in the Louvre’, which is now available on YouTube.
The Think Kent lectures are a series of TED talk-style lectures produced with the intention of raising awareness of the research and teaching expertise of Kent academics and the international impact of their work.
The lecture follows on from Tom’s curation of an exhibition held at both the Louvre in Paris and the Museo del Prado in Madrid, entitled ‘Raphaël à Rome: les dernières années’, focusing on the final years of the renaissance painter and architect.
The lecture discussed one painting, Raphael’s Self-Portrait with a Friend (c.1519-20), completed shortly before the artist’s death in 1520. Tom argues that to interpret the picture, it is necessary to understand the range of the painter’s activities in his last few years.
In particular, the identity of the second figure in the painting is unknown; however, Tom argues that he is the Italian painter and architect Giulio Romano, a pupil of Raphael, and he develops this argument with a discussion of the role of cloak-giving in artistic adoption and inheritance in the Renaissance period.
The talk may be viewed below or on YouTube via the link: