Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, to be born on April 6, 1483 come Giovanni Santi di Pietro and Magia di Battista di Nicola Ciarla, who came from wealthy merchant families from Urbino and also Colbordolo in the Marche Region. At the time, Urbino was a flourishing cultural center, and Raphael"s father operated as a artist for Federigo da Montefeltro, the battle each other of Urbino, where he to be the head the a famous studio. Raphael to be the only child of 3 to survive infancy. His mother died in 1491 once Raphael was nine years old, and also his dad remarried to Bernardina, the daughter that a goldsmith, the complying with year.

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His father noted Raphael"s beforehand training as a painter. According to his biographer Giorgio Vasari in his prominent book, lives of the Most great Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1550), his father additionally arranged for Raphael to be inserted in the studio the Italian Renaissance artist Pietro Perugino as soon as he was eight year old. While we don"t know with any kind of certainty when this apprenticeship began, we do know he was functioning as an assistant in Perugino"s studio the year of his father"s death in 1494.


Upon Giovanni"s death, Raphael inherited his father"s studio and also Giovanni"s brother was appointed Raphael"s legitimate guardian. His uncle took end the monitoring of the studio, through Raphael proceeding to job-related in his father"s workshop.

Early Training and also Work

Although Raphael walk on to obtain training in Urbino from a court painter called Timoteo Viti, it was Perugino who is recognized as Raphael"s first far-ranging artistic influence. When he was only 17 years old, his extensive talent as a painter coupled with the perfect of his apprenticeship got him acknowledgment as a true master. Such was his ability at the time that that was impossible to distinguish between the hand that Perugino or Raphael both in style and also technique.



It was in 1500 the Raphael received his first commission; one altarpiece dedicated to St. Nicholas of Tolentino. The altarpiece was for Andrea Baronci"s chapel in the church that St Agostino in Città di Castello, a city not much from Urbino. Back a joint commission through Evangelista da Pian di Meleto, a friend and modern-day of his father, Raphael was taped as the "Master." Sadly, the altarpiece was damaged throughout an earthquake in 1789, and also today only pieces remain, dispersed in various collections around the world.

Important commissions followed, including the Coronation of the Virgin (1502) because that the altar the the Oddi family chapel in the Church of san Francesco al Prato in Perugia. He likewise created his most crucial piece the this time, The marriage of the Virgin in 1504, i beg your pardon was motivated by Perugino"s painting Christ transporting the keys to St Peter (1482).


In 1504, Raphael relocated to Siena, invited by the artist Pinturicchio come prepare drawings for the frescos in the Libreria Piccolomini. From there he went on come Florence, the thriving facility of the Italian Renaissance, wherein he stayed for the next 4 years. The was during this time the he would meet his 2 prime rivals Leonardo da Vinci and also Michelangelo; the three would become known together the major trio of great masters from the period, return Raphael to be remarkably younger.

It was in Florence that Fra Bartolomeo persuaded Raphael to offer up the delicate graceful layout of Perugino in favor of a much more grandiose style. His main imaginative influence became Leonardo da Vinci, in specific his composition, use of gesture to produce dialogue, his innovative methods of chiaroscuro and sfumato. Utilizing this inspiration, Raphael began to build his own style which was conveniently garnering awe and also reverence for its lull of composition, clarity of form, and visual achievement, all stunning contributions to the Neoplatonic ideals of human being grandeur and also the Renaissance motivations toward depicting beauty.



During this time Raphael painted a number of Madonnas, i m sorry embodied much of Leonardo"s trial and error with realism and also composition. The many famous example of which to be his paint La belle jardinière in 1507. Later on that year, his The Entombment would present references come Michelangelo"s battle of Cascina the 1504. It was this capacity to find out from various other artists and develop the knowledge into a signature style of his very own that is said to have actually infuriated Michelangelo, top the tempestuous artist to accuse Raphael that plagiarism.

Mature Period

Based ~ above a recommendation by Donato Bramante, the very first architect to rebuild St Peter"s Basilica in Rome, Pope Julius II invited Raphael come Rome. The would end up being his embraced home for the next 12 years. Over there he functioned for both Pope Julius II and also his follower Pope Leo X, the boy of Lorenzo de" Medici, and it was throughout this time the he obtained the epithet "Prince the Painters."


In 1508, if Michelangelo was painting the ceiling the the Sistine Chapel, Raphael started work on redecorating Pope Julius II"s apartments in ~ the Vatican. This to be his most crucial commission come date and also established him together the pre-eminent artist in the Court the the Medici. Although he operated on the frescos because that the next 5 years, he left perfect of the commission to his assistants based top top his drawings (except for some remarkable exceptions).

It was throughout this time the Raphael met the banker Agostino Chigi, who came to be one his most vital patrons exterior the church. The most renowned commission he obtained from Chigi was for the fresco the Galatea in his Villa Farnesina in Rome, design by the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi.



Raphael additionally received his an initial architectural commission native Agostino Chigi, which was the design of the Chigi Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Popolo in 1513. He likewise went ~ above to work with Bramante on the architectural architecture of the church that St Eligio degli Orefici in Rome. It was these architectural jobs which secured that the place of architecture Commissioner that the new St Peter"s Basilica following Bramante"s death in 1514.

1514 was additionally the year Raphael ended up being engaged come Maria Bibbiena, Cardinal Bernardo Dovizi Bibbiena"s niece. The Cardinal to be a life-long friend and also patron and held a place of substantial power at the Medici Court. He was safeguarded by Pope Julius II during his papacy as well as being a long-time girlfriend of Giovanni de" Medici, who later came to be Pope Leo X. Raphael is said to have welcomed the engagement under duress, as he was already smitten through a baker"s daughter, Margherita Luti, that was his mistress and model. Mostly written the end of Raphael"s biography due to the fact that of the general interest in his infatuation v Margherita Luti, it is known that Maria Bibbiena passed away of one unknown condition in 1520 prior to the marriage could take place.


Margherita Luti, immortalized in Raphael"s portrait La Fornarina (1518-19), was the good love that his life. So much so that Vasari notes as soon as Raphael was commissioned to decorate the Villa Farnesina because that Agostino Chigi, his heart was not in his work due to his preoccupation with her. Chigi had to arrange because that the two lovers to meet in an enig throughout the commission. The themes of love and also marriage favored by Raphael for the Villa has actually led to speculation that the two can have been secretly married.

Late Period

In 1517, Pope Leo X appointed Raphael commissioner that antiquities in Rome, a duty of overseeing the restoration of antiquities. Raphael collection about fulfilling this obligation by drawing up an archaeological map that Rome. His restoration techniques differed native the approach of previously restorers by his insistence on maintaining pieces true to their original type rather than the an innovative reconstructions favored by other architects the the time.


The Pope likewise commissioned Raphael to style ten tapestries to cave on the wall surfaces of the Sistine Chapel. Raphael regulated to finish seven cartoons (full size preparatory drawings), i beg your pardon were sent out to be woven in the workshop that Flemish weaver Pieter Coecke van Aelst. They to be hung in the chapel shortly prior to Raphael"s death.

In his later years, Raphael stayed in the Palazzo Caprini, a palace designed by Bramante. During this period, he was lauded v honors including the prestigious title Groom that the Chamber, a high office in ~ the Papal Court. That was also appointed as Knight that the Papal order of the gold Spur because that his contribution to the glory the the Catholic Church.


He likewise worked on a big number of architecture projects, which contained the Palazzo di Jacobo da Brescia, a magnificent royal residence for Pope Leo"s doctor. And on the Villa Madama, a nation retreat because that Cardinal Giulio de" Medici who later came to be Pope Clement VII, which continued to be unfinished in ~ his death. The last painting he was functioning on at the moment of his fatality was The Transfiguration (1520), likewise commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de" Medici, which was intended to be because that a big altarpiece for Narbonne Cathedral in France.

By the time he died, Raphael is claimed to have had a workshop of end fifty apprentices, i beg your pardon was bigger than any type of other artist at the time.


Raphael died in Rome on an excellent Friday, April 6, 1520 as soon as he was only 37 year old. He passed away after a brief illness throughout which he to be able to put his work in order and receive his critical rites (the last prayers provided to Catholics prior to death). In maintaining with regional custom his human body lay in state in ~ his home, which was followed by among the largest funeral processions the his time, finishing at the Vatican where his funeral mass to be held. As listed by the French biographer Quatremère de Quincy in his history of Raphael that 1824, "The true grandeur of the procession to be that immense concourse of friends, that pupils, that artists, of renowned writers, of personages the every rank, that accompanied him, amidst the tears the the whole city; because that the grief was general and also the Pope"s Court mutual in it."


In his will Raphael asked to be buried in the Pantheon in Rome beside Maria Bibbiena. His dig bears the engraving written by Pietro Bembo, a scholar who later ended up being a Cardinal, "Here lies that well known Raphael by whom Nature feared to be dominated while the lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die."


Although the is known he left a huge amount of money to his beloved Margherita Luti, not much is known of what became of her. There is however a document of a woman calling herself "Margherita Luti, a widow", who gotten in the convent that St. Appollonia a couple of months ~ his death.

Much speculation surrounding Raphael"s premature death primarily due to Vasari"s reference of his fatality being led to by the "excesses that love." Vasari additionally wrote, "he was a an extremely amorous person, delighting lot in women, and ever prepared to serve them." although these reasons are steady lodged in the general public imagination, the reason of fatality of this consummate painter remains unconfirmed.


In an April 7, 1520 letter from Pandolfo Pico come Isabella d"Este, a great patron that the arts, he prophesized Raphael"s death as being the of a "good male who has actually finished his an initial life, but his second life of Fame will certainly be eternal."

Gentlemanly, well-mannered with an inborn confidence to move in courtly circles, the talent to imaginatively translate both secular and religious commissions, and also the consummate concentration and dedication come perfection have all added to Raphael"s reputation together one who reached the pinnacle that what a master artist could be.



As Vasari stated, "possessors of together rare and also numerous gifts as were watched in Rafaello da Urbino, room not just men, but mortal gods."

Joshua Reynolds, first president that the imperial Academy in London, hoped students of the college would be motivated by the "divine spark the Raphael"s genius" directing them to copy the great artist"s drawings as part of your studies.


As art chronicler Neal Ascherson commented, "19th century ideas of European world imagined art together an evolutionary process which would culminate in perfection, Raphael seemed to embody perfection."

In straight opposition of this perfection, the well known art chronicler John Ruskin would champion a different method in the 19th century, providing birth come the refusal of the Renaissance ideals of person grandeur and also its prominence as part of one artist"s education. Together Ruskin explained, "execution was sought rather 보다 thought, and beauty fairly than veracity." This rebellion moved the scholastic teaching of art away from the philosophies where Raphael was held to it is in the ideal, and led come the development of the group of painters called the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in the 1840"s. The establishing members that the society, william Holman Hunt, john Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti believed that the only method to uncover a brand-new direction in arts was come go earlier to medieval and Early Renaissance arts which preceded the painterly techniques and also artistic interpretation epitomized through Raphael and also the art of the High Renaissance.

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Despite the direction modern-day art eventually took, Raphael continues to it is in revered for taking the practice of painting to the pinnacle of technological achievement, which succeeding generations would usage as the ideal to aspire to. Those who have actually paid homage come this most extraordinary of artists in your own work are a legendary roster including Albrecht Dürer, Titian, Rembrandt, Velazquez, teacher Joshua Reynolds, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Raphael has remained continuously fixed in our imagination since the at an early stage 16th century, regardless of the increasing historical distance that conspires to numb our knowledge of the Renaissance world.