Carmen Bambach

Carmen Bambach

Robert Lehman Visiting Professor
2023-2024 (September - December)
Carmen Bambach


Carmen C. Bambach is Marica F. and Jan T. Vilcek Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received the Inaugural Vilcek Foundation Prize for Excellence for her contribution to U. S. society and culture as an immigrant (April 4, 2019), a Mongan Prize from Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (June 14, 2022), has organized many exhibitions at The Met, and has published numerous books and articles on Italian art. Her award-winning books include Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered, Yale University Press, July 2019, 4 vols.; Michelangelo Divine Draftsman and Designer (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017); and Drawing and Painting in the Italian Renaissance Workshop: Theory and Practice, 1300-1600 (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

Project Summary

At I Tatti, I will continue my work on Raphael in closely intertwined ways. I will complete research for the publication of my Mongan Prize Lecture (June 14, 2022), entitled“Nunc Denique Vives”: Thoughts on Posterity in the Lives of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael by Paolo Giovio. The refined Lombard humanist and physician, Paolo Giovio (1486-1552) wrote the short Lives of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael (MS, ca. 1525-28). Giovio had intended these biographies for his Dialogi de viris et foeminis aetate nostra florentibus, although he himself very probably decided against their publication for a variety of reasons. Since my Mongan lecture, the role of Raphael’s biography by Giovio has become much more prominent in my analysis. I will also continue my documentary and object-based research in preparation for the international-loan exhibition on Raphael that I am organizing for The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2026), which will be the first comprehensive exhibition on the artist in the United States since 1983. The concept is interdisciplinary, and the objective is to present Raphael’s creative process with immediacy and nuance in reconstructing his multi-faceted career as draftsman, painter, designer of decorative works, poet, architect, and brilliant collaborator. My research in Florence will concentrate on the early documents pertaining to Raphael’s career and the early biographies of the artist (beyond Giovio’s), and I will explore the contributions of science to our understanding of Raphael’s paintings.