Raffaello and Zhang Zeduan. New Perspectives on Perspective

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essays by Paola Borghese, Andrea Carini, Emanuela Daffra, Martin Kemp, Sabrina Rastelli, Sara Scatragli, Cheng-hua Wang

In 2020 we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the death of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, universally known as Raffaello. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic inevitably held back the celebrations. However, it did not stop the comparison between two masterpieces painted hundreds of years and tens of thousands of kilometers apart, in the context of two cultures that had little contact, from being translated online: the Marriage of the Virgin by Raffaello (1504) and the Qingming Feast along the river, by Zhang Zeduan (before 1186), a masterpiece that has in China a similar status to the Mona Lisa in the West.

This dialogue invites the viewer to compare different ways of representing time and space: in Western painting, perspective has made the painting “a representation seen as from a particular point in time and from a particular point in space, even when both time and space were imagined or even fictitious ”(J. Bradburne); in Chinese painting, the use of scrolls many meters long has favored the use of an axonometric projection that allows the viewer to follow the sequence of scenes that unfold along the paintings.

The essays approach the subject from various angles: focusing on the peculiarities of Chinese art that characterize the painting by Zhang Zeduan (essays by Cheng-hua Wang and Sabrina Rastelli), deepening the knowledge underlying the two paintings (Martin Kemp), the story of Raffaello’s marriage (Emanuela Daffra) and the painter’s technique, analyzed during the restoration of the painting in 2009 (the intervention of Paola Borghese, Andrea Carini and Sara Scatragli)

Eur 16,00

Weight 0.8 kg
Dimensions 14.8 × 21 cm



Paperback with flaps


25 in color and 10 in b/n