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The 1833 Opening of Raphael's Tomb in Pantheon, B73


  • The Renaissance artist Raphael was a cult figure in the 19th century, and some uncertainty as to where the famous painter was really buried led to the opening of his assumed tomb in the Pantheon on 14 September 1833. 75 distinguished figures had been invited. There were representatives of art, the Church, the City of Rome and, most important of all, medicine, who acted as judges. Thorvaldsen was naturally among the artists, the figure with the white hair behind the seated papal representative, Cardinal Vicario Zurla. As emerges from the painting, the tomb turned out to contain a skeleton, and it was determined by those present that these really were Raphael’s earthly remains.

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