Raphael Sanzio Portrait of Pope Julius II
The Portrait of Pope Julius II is a painting attributed to the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. Portraits by the Urbinate master of Pope Julius II as an old man exist in three versions: in the National Gallery, London, in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence and in the Palazzo Pitti, also Florence. A thorough investigation of the London painting has proved it to be the original. The version in the Uffizi is now said to be from Raphael's workshop, while that in the Palazzo Pitti has been attributed to Titian by some experts. Pope Julius II gave this painting to the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, where after his death it was displayed on important feast days. In 1591 Cardinal Sfondrati sold it to Scipione Borghese. Its provenance until its acquisition by the National Gallery in 1824 is also documented, so that it can be said with certainty that the London picture is authentic, despite the other existing versions.
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