On the occasion of the exhibition Raffaello giovane a Città di Castello e il suo sguardo (Città di Castello, Pinacoteca Comunale, 30 October 2021 – 9 January 2022), which is promoted by the Municipality of Città di Castello and is curated by Marica Mercalli and Laura Teza, the Museo Galileo has developed the digital reconstruction of a partly lost masterpiece by the great painter from Urbino.
The altarpiece depicting the Coronation of St. Nicholas of Tolentino was painted by Raphael with Evangelista di Pian di Meleto in 1501 for the church of Sant'Agostino in Città di Castello. Raphael was just seventeen and that was his first professional commission. The work remained visible in the Baronci Chapel of the church until 1789, when it was almost completely destroyed by an heavy earthquake. Only three fragments were undamaged and are today preserved in Naples, National Museum of Capodimonte (the Eternal Father and the Virgin), in Brescia, Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo (Angel), and in Paris, Louvre (Angel).
On the basis of these fragments, preparatory drawings and literary sources, our Multimedia Laboratory - under the guidance of Filippo Camerota and Francesco Paolo Di Teodoro, who designed the reconstruction of the work - digitally restored the pictorial composition of the entire altarpiece, returning a fundamental work of Raphael's artistic debut to the history of art.