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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第2章 社会文化类 Unit 17






His bio reads like a rock star’s.A precocious talent,he never married because,he said,it would have hurt his career.But he moved his girlfriend in with him while he worked his last gig—then died at the age of 37 from a fever brought on,some said,by carnal excess.The great painter Raphael (1483-1520)was one of the big three of Italy's high Renaissance,along with Leonardo da Vinci (whose work he admired and studied closely)and Michelangelo (with whom he carried on a vigorous,if all too brief,competition to be the Vatican's favorite artist).He didn’t seem,however,to have a superstar's attitude.The pope was his patron,and acquaintances described him as“sensible,”“well mannered,”“genial ” and“sweet.” On his deathbed,he bequeathed his mistress enough money to live“honorably” for the rest of her life.And he painted her portrait—one of the great paintings of all time,right up there with the“Mona Lisa”—as a final,loving tribute. 
At least that's how the legend goes.That portrait—which is touring the United States for the first time—constitutes a one-picture exhibition at the Frick Collection in New York through Jan.30 (it will travel to Houston and Indianapolis).Certainly,“La Fornarina”(“Baker's Daughter”)comes from the hand of the incomparable Raphael.① The gently tilting composition is perfect,the color finely balanced and the lady's skin alabaster and flawless. (Raphael got so good with the then new medium of oil paint that his technique became known as sprezzatura,meaning,roughly,to hide with technical facility exactly how anything is done.)② In the classic Venus gesture of simultaneously trying to cover up and to showcase her erotic attributes(including a belly button under gauze),she glances coyly to the side at,one presumes,a lover.“La Fornarina,” the renowned art historian and MacArthur fellow Leo Steinberg explains,“is the closest thing to soft porn in the high Renaissance.” But whether the seminude lady depicted is actually the baker's daughter who was Raphael's love remains a mystery. 
Is Raphael himself the object of her gaze? Most people—including several British critics reviewing the big Raphael exhibition currently at the National Gallery in London—like to think so.Since live women models weren’t generally available five centuries ago,the reasoning goes,the lady's posing undressed for Raphael must have been an intimate act.Besides,what else can the artist's proprietary name on her armband mean? But the experts remain divided.With a fine disregard for attendance-boosting hype,Rome museums commissioner Claudio Strinati (“La Fornarina” usually resides at the Palazzo Barberini in Rome)lays out a less titillating hypothesis in a booklet accompanying the Frick display. 
A recent cleaning of the painting reveals a wedding ring on the lady's left hand; Raphael's final and most prominent patron,the Sienese banker Agostino Chigi,had just been married to one Francesca Ardeasca.Raphael's name on the armband,Strinati says,is a tribute to Chigi.He concludes that“La Fornarina” is Ardeasca.Unfortunately,no other portraits of Chigi's bride exist to confirm the ID.As Steinberg says,“It's all an attractive myth,and like all myths it depends for interpretation on levels of reliable gossip.” Whatever one believes,“La Fornarina” is still a sweetheart of a painting. 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2002年真题Text 3。 
1.The mystery of the woman lies in her ______. 
A) beauty 
B) unknown identity 
C) seminude body 
D) intimate relationship with Raphael 
2.It can be inferred from the text that ______. 
A) Raphael behaved like a superstar 
B) Raphael died young because of overwork 
C) Raphael enjoyed greater popularity than Michelangelo 
D) one of Raphael's paintings achieves as great fame as“Mona Lisa” 
3.The vivid descriptions of the painting“La Fornarina” show that ______. 
A) Raphael is good at soft porn 
B) Raphael develops a special feeling towards the baker's daughter 
C) oil paint was not popular then 
D) Raphael's painting technique has reached maturity 
4.We can draw a conclusion from the third paragraph that ______. 
A) there is sound evidence to believe there exists an intimacy between Raphael and the woman in the painting 
B) live women models were nowhere to find in Raphael's time 
C) nude models were easily available in Italy in Renaissance 
D) it is generally agreed among experts that the woman is Raphael's mistress 
5.From the text,we can see that the writer ______. 
A) shows curiosity towards the identity of the woman in the painting 
B) is a Renaissance art historian 
C) strongly supports the idea that“La Fornarina” is one of Raphael's mistress 
D) thinks low of Raphael's technique in the painting 

拉斐尔是不是她凝视的对象?大部分人都乐于这样想,包括几名正在伦敦国家美术馆评论拉斐尔作品展的批评家们。理由是,500年前,女模特还不常见,画中女子为拉斐尔摆出半裸的姿态肯定与其关系亲密。而且,画家的名字出现在她的袖带上还能有别的意思吗?但有些专家对此持有不同意见。罗马博物馆主管克劳第奥·斯提纳地(《福尔娜瑞娜》平时就收藏在罗马的Palazzo Barberini美术馆)就完全不认同这种旨在大大提高参观人数的不实之称,他在弗瑞克展览会上发放的一本小册子中提出了一个不那么令人浮想联翩的假设。 

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