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Raphael

- April 6, 1520
1483 -
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Raphael was one of the leading artists of the Renaissance. Although best known for his paintings, He was also an architect, urban planner, archeologist, and historian. Born in Urbino, Italy, the son of Giovanni Santi, a painter who taught his son to paint. After his father’s death in 1494, he moved to Perugia to assist Perugino, whose style seeped into the young artist’s works, Madonna and Child Enthroned by Saints (1504). Following his success, he received commissions from the court of Urbino, notably the precious Saint George and the Dragon (1504), where Raphael’s style truly departed from his former master’s. Raphael moved to Florence, the artistic hub at the time, where his style continued to develop as he studied the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. During his time in Florence, Raphael worked on a series of Madonna and Child paintings, later synonymous with his name. Madonna in the Meadow demonstrates a geometric order and compositional unity. Raphael went to Rome under Pope Julius II’s patronage to design the frescos of the Pope’s private Vatican quarters, the Stanza della Segnatura and the Stanza d’Eliodoro. The period between his arrival in Rome in 1508 and his premature death in 1520 was incredibly productive. Pope Julius’ successor, Pope Leo X, had Raphael continue on the Stanza dell’Incendio and the Sala di Costantino, a propaganda work to reestablish the papacy’s power in Rome. With the help of the large and talented workshop of artists, such as Giulio Romano, and Giovanni da Udine, Raphael was the architect of several large projects, such as the Villa Madama and St. Peter’s. Raphael and his workshop worked with the court humanists to wed Roman antiquity to Christianity and papal power. Raphael died on Good Friday in 1520 and was buried in the Pantheon as requested.

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