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Raphael

IN THE WAKE OF ARTISTS SUCH AS CINDY Sherman, Yasumasa Morimura, and John Currin, playing “I spy the Old Master citation!” has become a popular sport, offering opportunities to reexamine (and occasionally give facile nods to) figurative art’s early-modern roots. Critically reworking canonical images, the postmodern bait and switch foregrounds thorny concepts of authorship and identity, encouraging a reconsideration of source material, as well as querying crucial factors behind the surfaces of these masterpieces and even their status as such.

Another opportunity arrives at the National Gallery, London, this fall with “Raphael: From Urbino to Rome,” which contains over one hundred paintings and drawings from international loans and the museum’s collection, including works by significant influences on the painter. Emphasizing transformations from the artist’s early years in central Italy (

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