Italy 500000 Lira banknote 1997 Raphael,
Bank of Italy - Banca d'Italia
Bank of Italy - Banca d'Italia
Obverse: On the right, in copperplate, the self-portrait of Raphael, Uffizi Gallery, Florence; in the centre, a detail from Raphael's fresco "The Triumph of Galatea" (Villa della Farnesina, Rome). The fixed-point watermark consists of three elements: on the left, the same self-portrait of Raphael; immediately below it, in ligne claire, the "BI" monogram between ornamental motifs; to the right, chiaroscuro reproductions of adjacent rectangular figures, the long side vertical.
Reverse: Reproduction of Raphael's fresco "The School of Athens" from the Room of the Segnatura, the Vatican, printed in dark blue copperplate.
Drawing: Guglielmo Savini.
Etching: Trento Cionini.
Dimensions: 163 x 78 mm.
Paper: high-quality, slightly coloured, special pulp, watermark, luminous fibrils and a vertical security thread.
Characteristics: Copperplate and offset, serial numbers in letterset.
Printer: Bank of Italy Printing Works.
No. notes authorized: 280,000,000.
Legislation: Ministerial Decree of 6 May 1997.
Italian banknotes and paper money from Italy
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Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality.
The Triumph of Galatea
The Farnesina was built for the Sienese banker Agostino Chigi, one of the richest men of that age. The Farnese family later acquired and renamed the villa, smaller than the more ostentatious palazzo at the other side of the Tiber. The fresco is a mythological scene of a series embellishing the open gallery of the building, a series never completed which was inspired to the "Stanze per la giostra" of the poet Angelo Poliziano. In Greek mythology, the beautiful Nereid Galatea had fallen in love with the peasant shepherd Acis. Her consort, one-eyed giant Polyphemus, after chancing upon the two lovers together, lobbed an enormous pillar and killed Acis.
Raphael did not paint any of the main events of the story. He chose the scene of the nymph's apotheosis (Stanze, I, 118-119). Galatea appears surrounded by other sea creatures whose forms are somewhat inspired by Michelangelo, whereas the bright colors and decoration are supposed to be inspired by ancient Roman painting. At the left, a Triton (partly man, partly fish) abducts a sea nymph; behind them, another Triton uses a shell as a trumpet. Galatea rides a shell-chariot drawn by two dolphins.
While some have seen in the model for Galatea the image of the courtesan, Imperia, Agostino Chigi's lover and Raphael's near-contemporary; Giorgio Vasari, wrote that Raphael did not mean for Galatea to resemble any one human person, but to represent ideal beauty. When asked where he had found a model of such beauty, Raphael reportedly said that he had used "a certain idea" he had formed in his mind.
The School of Athens
The School of Athens, or Scuola di Atene in Italian, is one of the most famous frescoes by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Stanza della Segnatura was the first of the rooms to be decorated, and The School of Athens, representing Philosophy, was probably the second painting to be finished there, after La Disputa (Theology) on the opposite wall, and the Parnassus (Literature). The picture has long been seen as "Raphael's masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the High Renaissance." Central figures: An elder Plato walks alongside Aristotle.
The lira was the currency of Italy between 1861 and 2002 and of the Albanian Kingdom between 1941 and 1943. Between 1999 and 2002, the Italian lira was officially a national subunit of the euro. However, cash payments could be made in lire only, as euro coins or notes were not yet available. The lira was also the currency of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy between 1807 and 1814.
The term originates from the value of a pound weight (Latin: libra) of high purity silver and as such is a direct cognate of the British pound sterling; in some countries, such as Cyprus and Malta, the words lira and pound were used as equivalents, before the euro was adopted in 2008 in the two countries. "L", sometimes in a double-crossed script form ("₤"), was the symbol most often used. Until the Second World War, it was subdivided into 100 centesimi (singular: centesimo), which translates to "hundredths".
The lira was established at 4.5 grams of silver or 290.322 milligrams of gold. This was a direct continuation of the Sardinian lira. Other currencies replaced by the Italian lira included the Lombardy-Venetia pound, the Two Sicilies piastra, the Tuscan fiorino, the Papal States scudo and the Parman lira. In 1865, Italy formed part of the Latin Monetary Union in which the lira was set as equal to, among others, the French, Belgian and Swiss francs: in fact, in various Gallo-Italic dialects in north-western Italy, the lira was outright called "franc". This practice has obviously ended with the introduction of the euro in 2002.
World War I broke the Latin Monetary Union and resulted in prices rising severalfold in Italy. Inflation was curbed somewhat by Mussolini, who, on August 18, 1926, declared that the exchange rate between lira and pound would be £1 = 90 lire — the so-called Quota 90, although the free exchange rate had been closer to 140 – 150 lire per pound, causing a temporary deflation and widespread problems in the real economy. In 1927, the lira was pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 1 dollar = 19 lire. This rate lasted until 1934, with a separate "tourist" rate of US$1 = 24.89 lire being established in 1936. In 1939, the "official" rate was 19.8 lire.
After the Allied invasion of Italy, an exchange rate was set at US$1 = 120 lire (1 British pound = 480 lire) in June 1943, reduced to 100 lire the following month. In German occupied areas, the exchange rate was set at 1 Reichsmark = 10 lire. After the war, the value of the lira fluctuated, before Italy set a peg of US$1 = 575 lire within the Bretton Woods System in November 1947. Following the devaluation of the pound, Italy devalued to US$1 = 625 lire on 21 September 1949. This rate was maintained until the end of the Bretton Woods System in the early 1970s. Several episodes of high inflation followed until the lira was replaced by the euro.
The lira was the official unit of currency in Italy until January 1, 1999, when it was replaced by the euro (euro coins and notes were not introduced until 2002). Old lira denominated currency ceased to be legal tender on February 28, 2002. The conversion rate is 1,936.27 lire to the euro.
All lira banknotes in use immediately before the introduction of the euro, as all post-World War II coins, were exchanged by the Bank of Italy up to 6 December 2011. Originally Italy's central bank pledged to redeem Italian coins and banknotes until 29 February 2012, but this was brought forward to 6 December 2011.
Banknotes of Italy
In 1882, the government began issuing small value paper money bearing the title "Biglietto di Stato". To begin with, there were 5 and 10 lire notes, to which 25 lire notes were occasionally added from 1895. The government also issued notes titled "Buono di Cassa" between 1893 and 1922 in denominations of 1 and 2 lire. Production of Biglietti di Stato ceased in 1925 but resumed in 1935 with notes for 1, 2, 5 and 10 lire being introduced by 1939.
The Bank of Italy began producing paper money in 1896. To begin with, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 lire notes were issued. In 1918–1919, 25 lire notes were also issued but no other denominations were introduced until after the Second World War.
In 1943, the invading Allies introduced notes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 lire. These were followed in 1944 by a series of Biglietti di Stato for 1, 2, 5 and 10 lire, which circulated until replaced by coins in the late 1940s. In 1945, the Bank of Italy introduced 5,000 and 10,000 lire notes.
In 1951, the government again issued notes, this time simply bearing the title "Repubblica Italiana". Denominations were of 50 and 100 lire (replacing the Bank of Italy notes) and they circulated until coins of these denominations were introduced in the mid-1950s. In 1966, 500 lire notes were introduced (again replacing Bank of Italy notes) which were produced until replaced in 1982 by a coin.
50,000 and 100,000 lire notes were introduced by the Bank of Italy in 1967, followed by 2,000 lire in 1973, 20,000 lire in 1975 and 500,000 lire in 1997.
In the mid-1970s, when coinage was in short supply, Italian banks printed "miniassegni" in 50- and 100-lire amounts. Technically bearer checks, they were printed in the form of banknotes and were generally accepted as substitute legal currency.
Notes in circulation when the euro was introduced were:
1000 lire, Maria Montessori (€0.516)
2000 lire, Guglielmo Marconi (€1.03)
5000 lire, Vincenzo Bellini(€2.58)
10000 lire, Alessandro Volta (€5.16)
50000 lire, Gian Lorenzo Bernini (€25.82)
100000 lire, Caravaggio (€51.65)
500000 lire, Raffaello (€258.23)