Raphael

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  • Topic: Raphael, Sistine Chapel, Rome
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Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.

Raphael was born on April 6 or March 28, 1483 in the small but artistically significant Central Italian city of Urbino in the Marche region, where his father Giovanni Santi was a court painter to the Duke. His father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice. Raphael at least worked as an assistant to Perugino from around 1500; the influence of Perugino on Raphael's early work is very clear. , His mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1, 1494 by his father, who had already remarried. Orphaned at eleven, he continued to live with his stepmother. He did not receive a full humanistic education however; it is unclear how easily he read Latin.

The Perugino workshop was active in both Perugia and Florence. His first documented work was the «Baronci altarpiece» for the church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in Città di Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino. In the following years he painted works for other churches there, including the «Mond Crucifixion». He also visited Florence in this period.

Raphael led a "nomadic" life, working in various centres in Northern Italy, but spent a good deal of time in Florence, perhaps from about 1504. Although there is traditional reference to a "Florentine period" from 1504 to 1508, he was possibly never a continuous resident there. He may have needed to visit the city to secure materials in any case. Frescos in Perugia of about 1505 show a new monumental quality in the figures which may represent the influence of Fra Bartolomeo, who was a friend of Raphael. But the most striking influence in the work of these years is Leonardo da Vinci.

By the end of 1508, he had moved to Rome, where he lived for the rest of his life. He was invited by the new Pope Julius II. Raphael was immediately commissioned by Julius to fresco what was intended to become the Pope's private library at the Vatican Palace. This was a much larger and more important commission than any he had received before. This first of the famous "Stanze" to be painted, now always known as the Stanza della Segnatura, contains «The School of Athens», «The Parnassus» and others. Raphael was then given further rooms to paint, displacing other artists including Perugino and Signorelli. He completed a sequence of three rooms, each with paintings on each wall and often the ceilings too. Raphael was clearly influenced by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in the course of painting the room.

The Vatican projects took most of his time, although he painted several portraits, including the portraits of popes «Julius II» and his successor «Leo X». The Raphael Cartoons appeared in that period. He produced a number of significant altarpieces, including the «Sistine Madonna». His last work was a large «Transfiguration».

Raphael lived in the Borgo, in rather grand style in a palace. He never married, but in 1514 became engaged to Maria Bibbiena. But they never married. He is said to have had many affairs, but a permanent fixture in his life in Rome was "La Fornarina", Margherita Luti, the daughter of a baker (fornaro) named Francesco Luti. Raphael died on Good Friday (April 6, 1520). At his request, Raphael was buried in the Pantheon. His funeral was extremely grand, attended by large crowds.

Creative work of Raphael.

1) Early work;

2) Florentine period;

3) Roman period;

Early work.

From his youth he was in the studio of famous painter Pietro Perugino. It was impossible to distinguish Raphael and Pietro Perugino’s hands at this period. Apart from stylistic closeness, their techniques are very similar as well, for...
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