Raphael

Raphael

Overview
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 of the High Renaissance
High Renaissance
The expression High Renaissance, in art history, is a periodizing convention used to denote the apogee of the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance...

. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

 ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

 and Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.

Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop, and despite his death at 37, a large body of his work remains.
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Encyclopedia
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 of the High Renaissance
High Renaissance
The expression High Renaissance, in art history, is a periodizing convention used to denote the apogee of the visual arts in the Italian Renaissance...

. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

 ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

 and Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.

Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop, and despite his death at 37, a large body of his work remains. Many of his works are found in the Apostolic Palace
Apostolic Palace
The Apostolic Palace is the official residence of the Pope, which is located in Vatican City. It is also known as the Sacred Palace, the Papal Palace and the Palace of the Vatican...

 of The Vatican
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms
Raphael Rooms
The four Stanze di Raffaello in the Palace of the Vatican form a suite of reception rooms, the public part of the papal apartments. They are famous for their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop...

 were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens
The School of Athens
The School of Athens, or in Italian, is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1510 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms now known as the , in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican...

in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was self-designed, but for the most part executed by the workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking
Printmaking
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

. After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

: his early years in Umbria
Umbria
Umbria is a region of modern central Italy. It is one of the smallest Italian regions and the only peninsular region that is landlocked.Its capital is Perugia.Assisi and Norcia are historical towns associated with St. Francis of Assisi, and St...

, then a period of about four years (from 1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates.

Urbino



Raphael was born in the small but artistically significant Central Italian city of Urbino
Urbino
Urbino is a walled city in the Marche region of Italy, south-west of Pesaro, a World Heritage Site notable for a remarkable historical legacy of independent Renaissance culture, especially under the patronage of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino from 1444 to 1482...

 in the Marche
Marche
The population density in the region is below the national average. In 2008, it was 161.5 inhabitants per km2, compared to the national figure of 198.8. It is highest in the province of Ancona , and lowest in the province of Macerata...

 region, where his father Giovanni Santi
Giovanni Santi
Giovanni Santi was an Italian painter and decorator, father of Raphael. He was born at Colbordolo in the Duchy of Urbino. He was a petty merchant for a time; he then studied under Piero della Francesca. He was influenced by Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, and seems to have been an assistant and friend of...

 was court painter to the Duke. The reputation of the court had been established by Federico III da Montefeltro, a highly successful condottiere who had been created Duke of Urbino by the Pope
Pope Sixtus IV
Pope Sixtus IV , born Francesco della Rovere, was Pope from 1471 to 1484. His accomplishments as Pope included the establishment of the Sistine Chapel; the group of artists that he brought together introduced the Early Renaissance into Rome with the first masterpiece of the city's new artistic age,...

—Urbino formed part of the Papal States
Papal States
The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

—and who died the year before Raphael was born. The emphasis of Federico's court was rather more literary than artistic, but Giovanni Santi was a poet of sorts as well as a painter, and had written a rhymed chronicle of the life of Federico, and both wrote the texts and produced the decor for masque
Masque
The masque was a form of festive courtly entertainment which flourished in 16th and early 17th century Europe, though it was developed earlier in Italy, in forms including the intermedio...

-like court entertainments. His poem to Federico shows him as keen to show awareness of the most advanced North Italian painters, and Early Netherlandish artists
Early Netherlandish painting
Early Netherlandish painting refers to the work of artists active in the Low Countries during the 15th- and early 16th-century Northern renaissance, especially in the flourishing Burgundian cities of Bruges and Ghent...

 as well. In the very small court of Urbino he was probably more integrated into the central circle of the ruling family than most court painters.

Federico was succeeded by his son Guidobaldo da Montefeltro
Guidobaldo da Montefeltro
thumb|240px|Portrait of Guidobaldo da Montefeltro by [[Raphael]].Guidobaldo da Montefeltro , also known as Guidobaldo I, was an Italian condottiero and the Duke of Urbino from 1482 to 1508.-Biography:...

, who married Elisabetta Gonzaga
Elisabetta Gonzaga
Elisabetta Gonzaga was a noblewoman of the Italian Renaissance, renowned for her cultured and virtuous life. A member of the noble House of Gonzaga, she was a sister of Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua and by marriage the Duchess of Urbino...

, daughter of the ruler of Mantua
Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

, the most brilliant of the smaller Italian courts for both music and the visual arts. Under them, the court continued as a centre for literary culture. Growing up in the circle of this small court gave Raphael the excellent manners and social skills stressed by Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

. Court life in Urbino at just after this period was to become set as the model of the virtues of the Italian humanist court by Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione, count of was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author.-Biography:Castiglione was born into an illustrious Lombard family at Casatico, near Mantua, where his family had constructed an impressive palazzo...

's depiction of it in his classic work The Book of the Courtier
The Book of the Courtier
The Book of the Courtier is a courtesy book. It was written by Baldassare Castiglione over the course of many years, beginning in 1508, and published in 1528 by the Aldine Press just before his death...

, published in 1528. Castiglione moved to Urbino in 1504, when Raphael was no longer based there but frequently visited, and they became good friends. He became close to other regular visitors to the court: Pietro Bibbiena
Bernardo Dovizi
Bernardo Dovizi or Bibbiena was an Italian cardinal and comedy-writer, known best as Cardinal Bibbiena, for the town Bibbiena, where he was born.-Biography:...

 and Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, literary theorist, and cardinal. He was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language, specifically Tuscan, as a literary medium, and his writings assisted in the 16th-century revival of interest in the works of Petrarch...

, both later Cardinals
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

, were already becoming well known as writers, and would be in Rome during Raphael's period there. Raphael mixed easily in the highest circles throughout his life, one of the factors that tended to give a misleading impression of effortlessness to his career. He did not receive a full humanistic education
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

 however; it is unclear how easily he read Latin.

Early life and work



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, Raphael's formal guardian became his only paternal uncle Bartolomeo, a priest, who subsequently engaged in litigation with his stepmother. He probably continued to live with his stepmother when not living as an apprentice with a master. He had already shown talent, according to Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

, who tells that Raphael had been "a great help to his father". A brilliant self-portrait
Self-portrait
A self-portrait is a representation of an artist, drawn, painted, photographed, or sculpted by the artist. Although self-portraits have been made by artists since the earliest times, it is not until the Early Renaissance in the mid 15th century that artists can be frequently identified depicting...

 drawing from his teenage years shows his precocious talent. His father's workshop continued and, probably together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a very early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello
Paolo Uccello
Paolo Uccello , born Paolo di Dono, was an Italian painter and a mathematician who was notable for his pioneering work on visual perspective in art. Giorgio Vasari in his book Lives of the Artists wrote that Uccello was obsessed by his interest in perspective and would stay up all night in his...

, previously the court painter (d. 1475), and Luca Signorelli
Luca Signorelli
Luca Signorelli was an Italian Renaissance painter who was noted in particular for his ability as a draughtsman and his use of foreshortening...

, who until 1498 was based in nearby Città di Castello
Città di Castello
Città di Castello is a city and comune in the province of Perugia, in the northern part of the Umbria region of Italy. It is situated on a slope of the Apennines, on the flood plain of the river Tiber. The city is north of Perugia and south of Cesena on the S3bis. It is connected to the A1...

.

According to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice "despite the tears of his mother". The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source, and has been disputed — eight was very early for an apprenticeship to begin. An alternative theory is that he received at least some training from Timoteo Viti
Timoteo Viti
Timoteo Viti , sometimes called Timoteo della Viti or Timoteo da Urbino, was an Italian Renaissance painter, who was closely associated with Raphael, who was fourteen years his junior.-Career:...

, who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495. But most modern historians agree that Raphael at least worked as an assistant to Perugino from around 1500; the influence of Perugino on Raphael's early work is very clear: "probably no other pupil of genius has ever absorbed so much of his master's teaching as Raphael did", according to Wölfflin. Vasari wrote that it was impossible to distinguish their hands at this period, but many modern art historians claim to do better and detect his hand in specific areas of works by Perugino or his workshop. Apart from stylistic closeness, their techniques are very similar as well, for example having paint applied thickly, using an oil varnish medium, in shadows and darker garments, but very thinly on flesh areas. An excess of resin in the varnish often causes cracking of areas of paint in the works of both masters. The Perugino workshop was active in both Perugia
Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area....

 and Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, perhaps maintaining two permanent branches. Raphael is described as a "master", that is to say fully trained, in 1501.

His first documented work was the Baronci altarpiece
Baronci altarpiece
The Baronci Altarpiece was a painting by the Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael. His first recorded commission, it was made for Andrea Baronci's chapel in the church of Sant'Agostino in Città di Castello, near Urbino...

 for the church of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino
Nicholas of Tolentino
Saint Nicholas of Tolentino , known as the Patron of Holy Souls, was an Italian saint and mystic.-Biography:...

 in Città di Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino. Evangelista da Pian di Meleto, who had worked for his father, was also named in the commission. It was commissioned in 1500 and finished in 1501; now only some cut sections and a preparatory drawing remain. In the following years he painted works for other churches there, including the "Mond Crucifixion
Mond Crucifixion
The Mond Crucifixion is a painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael....

" (about 1503) and the Brera
Brera
Brera is a district of Milan, ItalyBrera may also refer to:* the Palazzo Brera, a historical building in Brera; the palace also houses:** the Brera Art Academy** the Brera Art Gallery** the Brera Astronomical Observatory...

 Wedding of the Virgin
The Marriage of the Virgin (Raphael)
The Marriage of the Virgin, also known as Lo Sposalizio, is an oil painting by Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael. Completed in 1504 for a Franciscan church in Città di Castello, the painting depicts a marriage ceremony between Mary and Joseph...

(1504), and for Perugia, such as the Oddi Altarpiece
Oddi altar (Raphael)
The Oddi Altarpiece is an altarpiece of the Coronation of the Virgin painted in 1502-1504 by the Italian Renaissance master Raphael for the altar of the Oddi family chapel in the church of San Francesco al Prato in Perugia, Italy...

. He very probably also visited Florence in this period. These are large works, some in fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

, where Raphael confidently marshalls his compositions in the somewhat static style of Perugino. He also painted many small and exquisite cabinet painting
Cabinet painting
A cabinet painting is a small painting, typically no larger than about two feet in either dimension, but often much smaller. The term is especially used of paintings that show full-length figures at a small scale, as opposed to say a head painted nearly life-size, and that are painted very...

s in these years, probably mostly for the connoisseurs in the Urbino court, like the Three Graces
Three Graces (Raphael)
The Three Graces is an oil painting by Italian painter Raphael, housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France. The date of origin has not been positively determined, though it seems to have been painted at some point after his arrival to study with Pietro Perugino in about 1500, possibly 1503-1505...

 and St. Michael
St. Michael (Raphael)
St. Michael is an oil painting by Italian artist Raphael. Also called the Little St. Michael to distinguish it from a larger, later treatment of the same theme, St. Michael Vanquishing Satan, it is housed in the Louvre in Paris. The work depicts the Archangel Michael in combat with the demons of...

, and he began to paint Madonnas
Madonna (art)
Images of the Madonna and the Madonna and Child or Virgin and Child are pictorial or sculptured representations of Mary, Mother of Jesus, either alone, or more frequently, with the infant Jesus. These images are central icons of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity where Mary remains...

 and portraits. In 1502 he went to Siena
Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

 at the invitation of another pupil of Perugino, Pinturicchio
Pinturicchio
Bernardino di Betto, called Pintoricchio or Pinturicchio was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. He acquired his nickname, Pintoricchio , because of his small stature, and he used it to sign some of his works....

, "being a friend of Raphael and knowing him to be a draughtsman of the highest quality" to help with the cartoon
Cartoon
A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art. While the specific definition has changed over time, modern usage refers to a typically non-realistic or semi-realistic drawing or painting intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or to the artistic style of such works...

s, and very likely the designs, for a fresco series in the Piccolomini Library in Siena Cathedral. He was evidently already much in demand even at this early stage in his career.

Influence of Florence


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. However, although there is traditional reference to a "Florentine period" of about 1504-8, he was possibly never a continuous resident there. He may have needed to visit the city to secure materials in any case. There is a letter of recommendation of Raphael, dated October 1504, from the mother of the next Duke of Urbino to the Gonfaloniere of Florence: "The bearer of this will be found to be Raphael, painter of Urbino, who, being greatly gifted in his profession has determined to spend some time in Florence to study. And because his father was most worthy and I was very attached to him, and the son is a sensible and well-mannered young man, on both accounts, I bear him great love...".

As earlier with Perugino and others, Raphael was able to assimilate the influence of Florentine art, whilst keeping his own developing style. Frescos in Perugia of about 1505 show a new monumental quality in the figures which may represent the influence of Fra Bartolomeo, who Vasari says was a friend of Raphael. But the most striking influence in the work of these years is Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, who returned to the city from 1500 to 1506. Raphael's figures begin to take more dynamic and complex positions, and though as yet his painted subjects are still mostly tranquil, he made drawn studies of fighting nude men, one of the obsessions of the period in Florence. Another drawing is a portrait of a young woman that uses the three-quarter length pyramidal composition of the just-completed "Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa is a portrait by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is a painting in oil on a poplar panel, completed circa 1503–1519...

", but still looks completely Raphaelesque. Another of Leonardo's compositional inventions, the pyramidal Holy Family, was repeated in a series of works that remain among his most famous easel paintings. There is a drawing by Raphael in the Royal Collection
Royal Collection
The Royal Collection is the art collection of the British Royal Family. It is property of the monarch as sovereign, but is held in trust for her successors and the nation. It contains over 7,000 paintings, 40,000 watercolours and drawings, and about 150,000 old master prints, as well as historical...

 of Leonardo's lost Leda and the Swan, from which he adapted the contrapposto
Contrapposto
Contrapposto is an Italian term that means counterpose. It is used in the visual arts to describe a human figure standing with most of its weight on one foot so that its shoulders and arms twist off-axis from the hips and legs. This gives the figure a more dynamic, or alternatively relaxed...

 pose of his own Saint Catherine of Alexandria. He also perfects his own version of Leonardo's sfumato
Sfumato
Sfumato is one of the four canonical painting modes of the Renaissance .The most prominent practitioner of sfumato was Leonardo da Vinci, and his famous painting of the Mona Lisa exhibits the technique. Leonardo da Vinci described sfumato as "without lines or borders, in the manner of smoke or...

 modelling, to give subtlety to his painting of flesh, and develops the interplay of glances between his groups, which are much less enigmatic than those of Leonardo. But he keeps the soft clear light of Perugino in his paintings.

Leonardo was more than thirty years older than Raphael, but Michelangelo, who was in Rome for this period, was just eight years his senior. Michelangelo already disliked Leonardo, and in Rome came to dislike Raphael even more, attributing conspiracies against him to the younger man. Raphael would have been aware of his works in Florence, but in his most original work of these years, he strikes out in a different direction. His Deposition of Christ
Deposition (Raphael)
The Deposition, also known as the , Borghese Deposition or The Entombment, is an oil painting by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. Signed and dated "Raphael Urbinas MDVII ", the painting is in the Galleria Borghese in Rome...

draws on classical sarcophagi to spread the figures across the front of the picture space in a complex and not wholly successful arrangement. Wöllflin detects the influence of the Madonna in Michelangelo's Doni Tondo
Doni Tondo
The Doni Tondo or Doni Madonna, sometimes called The Holy Family, is the earliest of only three surviving panel paintings by the adult Italian Renaissance master Michelangelo Buonarroti, and the only one to be finished...

in the kneeling figure on the right, but the rest of the composition is far removed from his style, or that of Leonardo. Though highly regarded at the time, and much later forcibly removed from Perugia by the Borghese
Borghese
Borghese is the surname of a family of Italian noble and papal background, originating as the Borghese or Borghesi in Siena, where they came to prominence in the 13th century holding offices under the commune. The head of the family, Marcantonio, moved to Rome in the 16th century and there,...

, it stands rather alone in Raphael's work. His classicism would later take a less literal direction.

The Vatican "Stanze"


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
Pope Julius II
Pope Julius II , nicknamed "The Fearsome Pope" and "The Warrior Pope" , born Giuliano della Rovere, was Pope from 1503 to 1513...

, perhaps at the suggestion of his architect Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante was an Italian architect, who introduced the Early Renaissance style to Milan and the High Renaissance style to Rome, where his most famous design was St...

, then engaged on St. Peter's, who came from just outside Urbino and was distantly related to Raphael. Unlike Michelangelo, who had been kept hanging around in Rome for several months after his first summons, 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; he had only painted one altarpiece in Florence itself. Several other artists and their teams of assistants were already at work on different rooms, many painting over recently completed paintings commissioned by Julius's loathed predecessor, Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI , born Roderic Llançol i Borja was Pope from 1492 until his death on 18 August 1503. He is one of the most controversial of the Renaissance popes, and his Italianized surname—Borgia—became a byword for the debased standards of the Papacy of that era, most notoriously the Banquet...

, whose contributions, and arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

, Julius was determined to efface from the palace. Michelangelo, meanwhile, had been commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling
Sistine Chapel ceiling
The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, at the commission of Pope Julius II, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the large Papal Chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV after whom it is named...

.

This first of the famous "Stanze" or "Raphael Rooms
Raphael Rooms
The four Stanze di Raffaello in the Palace of the Vatican form a suite of reception rooms, the public part of the papal apartments. They are famous for their frescoes, painted by Raphael and his workshop...

" to be painted, now always known as the Stanza della Segnatura after its use in Vasari's time, was to make a stunning impact on Roman art, and remains generally regarded as his greatest masterpiece, containing The School of Athens
The School of Athens
The School of Athens, or in Italian, is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1510 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms now known as the , in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican...

, The Parnassus
The Parnassus
The Parnassus is a painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael.-Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican Palace:Pope Julius II commissioned Raphael to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Palace of the Vatican...

and the Disputa
Disputation of the Holy Sacrament
The Disputation of the Sacrament , or Disputa, is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1510 as only the first part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in...

. 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, increasingly leaving the work of painting from his detailed drawings to the large and skilled workshop team he had acquired, who added a fourth room, probably only including some elements designed by Raphael, after his early death in 1520. The death of Julius in 1513 did not interrupt the work at all, as he was succeeded by Raphael's last Pope, the Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

 Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X
Pope Leo X , born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, was the Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. He is known for granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 Theses...

, with whom Raphael formed an even closer relationship, and who continued to commission him. Raphael's friend Cardinal Bibbiena was also one of Leo's old tutors, and a close friend and advisor.

Raphael was clearly influenced by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling in the course of painting the room. Vasari said Bramante let him in secretly, and the scaffolding was taken down in 1511 from the first completed section. The reaction of other artists to the daunting force of Michelangelo was the dominating question in Italian art for the following few decades, and Raphael, who had already shown his gift for absorbing influences into his own personal style, rose to the challenge perhaps better than any other artist. One of the first and clearest instances was the portrait in The School of Athens of Michelangelo himself, as Heraclitus
Heraclitus
Heraclitus of Ephesus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Asia Minor. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom...

, which seems to draw clearly from the Sybils and ignudi of the Sistine ceiling. Other figures in that and later paintings in the room show the same influences, but as still cohesive with a development of Raphael's own style. Michelangelo accused Raphael of plagiarism and years after Raphael's death, complained in a letter that "everything he knew about art he got from me", although other quotations show more generous reactions.

These very large and complex compositions have been regarded ever since as among the supreme works of the grand manner
Grand manner
Grand Manner refers to an idealized aesthetic style derived from classical art, and the modern "classic art" of the High Renaissance. In the eighteenth century, British artists and connoisseurs used the term to describe paintings that incorporated visual metaphors in order to suggest noble qualities...

 of the High Renaissance, and the "classic art" of the post-antique West. They give a highly idealised
Idealism
In philosophy, idealism is the family of views which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing...

 depiction of the forms represented, and the compositions, though very carefully conceived in drawing
Drawing
Drawing is a form of visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium. Common instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, markers, styluses, and various metals .An artist who...

s, achieve "sprezzatura", a term invented by his friend Castiglione, who defined it as "a certain nonchalance which conceals all artistry and makes whatever one says or does seem uncontrived and effortless ...". According to Michael Levey
Michael Levey
Sir Michael Vincent Levey, LVO was a British art historian and was director of the National Gallery for thirteen years, from 1973 to 1986.-Biography:...

, "Raphael gives his [figures] a superhuman clarity and grace in a universe of Euclidian certainties". The painting is nearly all of the highest quality in the first two rooms, but the later compositions in the Stanze, especially those involving dramatic action, are not entirely as successful either in conception or their execution by the workshop.

Other projects


The Vatican projects took most of his time, although he painted several portraits, including those of his two main patrons, the popes Julius II
Portrait of Pope Julius II (Raphael)
Portrait of Pope Julius II is an oil painting attributed to Italian painter Raphael. This painting of Pope Julius II, who was a popular subject for Raphael and his students, was unusual for its time and would carry a long influence on papal portraiture...

 and his successor Leo X, the former considered one of his finest. Other portraits were of his own friends, like Castiglione, or the immediate Papal circle. Other rulers pressed for work, and King Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 was sent two paintings as diplomatic gifts from the Pope. For Agostino Chigi
Agostino Chigi
Agostino Andrea Chigi was an Italian banker and patron of the Renaissance.Born in Siena, he was the son of the prominent banker Mariano Chigi, a member of an ancient and illustrious house. He moved to Rome around 1487, collaborating with his father...

, the hugely rich banker and Papal Treasurer, he painted the Galatea
Galatea (Raphael)
The Triumph of Galatea is a fresco masterpiece completed in 1512 by the Italian painter Raphael for the Villa Farnesina in Rome.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...

 and designed further decorative frescoes for his Villa Farnesina
Villa Farnesina
The Villa Farnesina is a Renaissance suburban villa in the Via della Lungara, in the district of Trastevere in Rome, central Italy.The villa was built for Agostino Chigi, a rich Sienese banker and the treasurer of Pope Julius II. Between 1506–1510, the Sienese artist and pupil of Bramante,...

, and painted two chapels in the churches of Santa Maria della Pace
Santa Maria della Pace
Santa Maria della Pace is a church in Rome, central Italy, not far from Piazza Navona.The current building was built on the foundations of the pre-existing church of Sant'Andrea de Aquarizariis in 1482, commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV. The church was rededicated to the Virgin Mary to remember a...

 and Santa Maria del Popolo
Santa Maria del Popolo
Santa Maria del Popolo is an Augustinian church located in Rome, Italy.It stands to the north side of the Piazza del Popolo, one of the most famous squares in the city. The Piazza is situated between the ancient Porta Flaminia and the park of the Pincio...

. He also designed some of the decoration for the Villa Madama, the work in both villas being executed by his workshop.

One of his most important papal commissions was the Raphael Cartoons
Raphael Cartoons
The Raphael Cartoons are seven large cartoons for tapestries, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, painted by the High Renaissance painter Raphael in 1515-16 and showing scenes from the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles...

 (now Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

), a series of 10 cartoon
Cartoon
A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art. While the specific definition has changed over time, modern usage refers to a typically non-realistic or semi-realistic drawing or painting intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or to the artistic style of such works...

s, of which seven survive, for tapestries with scenes of the lives of Saint Paul
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

 and Saint Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

, for the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its architecture and its decoration that was frescoed throughout by Renaissance artists including Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Pinturicchio...

. The cartoons were sent to Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 to be woven in the workshop of Pier van Aelst. It is possible that Raphael saw the finished series before his death—they were probably completed in 1520. He also designed and painted the Loggia at the Vatican, a long thin gallery then open to a courtyard on one side, decorated with Roman-style grottesche. He produced a number of significant altarpieces, including The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia
The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia (Raphael)
The St. Cecilia Altarpiece is an oil painting by Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. Completed in his later years, around 1516-1517, the painting depicts Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians and Church music, listening to a choir of angels in the company of St. Paul, St. John the...

 and the Sistine Madonna
Sistine Madonna
Sistine Madonna, also called La Madonna di San Sisto, is an oil painting by the Italian artist Raphael. Finished shortly before his death, ca. 1513–1514, as a commissioned altarpiece, it was the last of the painter's Madonnas and the last painting he completed with his own hands...

. His last work, on which he was working up to his death, was a large Transfiguration
Transfiguration (Raphael)
The Transfiguration is considered the last painting by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael. It was left unfinished by Raphael, and is believed to have been completed by his pupil, Giulio Romano, shortly after Raphael's death in 1520...

, which together with Il Spasimo
Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary (Raphael)
Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary, also known as Sicilia's Spasimo, is a painting of the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael, circa 1516-1517. It is housed in the Museo del Prado of Madrid....

 shows the direction his art was taking in his final years—more proto-Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 than Mannerist.

Workshop


Vasari says that Raphael eventually had a workshop of fifty pupils and assistants, many of whom later became significant artists in their own right. This was arguably the largest workshop team assembled under any single old master
Old Master
"Old Master" is a term for a European painter of skill who worked before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. An "old master print" is an original print made by an artist in the same period...

 painter, and much higher than the norm. They included established masters from other parts of Italy, probably working with their own teams as sub-contractors, as well as pupils and journeymen. We have very little evidence of the internal working arrangements of the workshop, apart from the works of art themselves, often very difficult to assign to a particular hand.

The most important figures were Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano
Giulio Romano was an Italian painter and architect. A pupil of Raphael, his stylistic deviations from high Renaissance classicism help define the 16th-century style known as Mannerism...

, a young pupil from Rome (only about twenty-one at Raphael's death), and Gianfrancesco Penni
Gianfrancesco Penni
Gianfrancesco Penni , also known as Giovan Francesco, was an Italian painter, student of Raphael.Born in Florence to a family of weavers, Penni entered very early in Raphael's workshop, and collaborated with him for several works, including the famous Rooms of the Vatican Palace as well as the...

, already a Florentine master. They were left many of Raphael's drawings and other possessions, and to some extent continued the workshop after Raphael's death. Penni did not achieve a personal reputation equal to Giulio's, as after Raphael's death he became Giulio's less-than-equal collaborator in turn for much of his subsequent career. Perino del Vaga, already a master, and Polidoro da Caravaggio, who was supposedly promoted from a labourer carrying building materials on the site, also became notable painters in their own right. Polidoro's partner, Maturino da Firenze
Maturino da Firenze
Maturino da Firenze was an Italian painter, born in Florence, but working in Rome during the Renaissance.Vasari described the relationship between Polidoro da Caravaggio and Maturino as exceedingly close:...

, has, like Penni, been overshadowed in subsequent reputation by his partner. Giovanni da Udine
Giovanni da Udine
Giovanni Nanni, also Giovanni de' Ricamatori, better known as Giovanni da Udine , was an Italian painter and architect born in Udine....

 had a more independent status, and was responsible for the decorative stucco
Stucco
Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture...

 work and grotesques surrounding the main frescoes. Most of the artists were later scattered, and some killed, by the violent Sack of Rome in 1527
Sack of Rome (1527)
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in Rome, then part of the Papal States...

. This did however contribute to the diffusion of versions of Raphael's style around Italy and beyond.

Vasari emphasises that Raphael ran a very harmonious and efficient workshop, and had extraordinary skill in smoothing over troubles and arguments with both patrons and his assistants—a contrast with the stormy pattern of Michelangelo's relationships with both. However though both Penni and Giulio were sufficiently skilled that distinguishing between their hands and that of Raphael himself is still sometimes difficult, there is no doubt that many of Raphael's later wall-paintings, and probably some of his easel paintings, are more notable for their design than their execution. Many of his portraits, if in good condition, show his brilliance in the detailed handling of paint right up to the end of his life.

Other pupils or assistants include Raffaellino del Colle
Raffaellino del Colle
Raffaellino del Colle was an Italian Mannerist painter active mostly in Umbria. He was born in Colle, Borgo Sansepolcro, Tuscany.He is also called Raffaellino della Colle. A pupil of Raphael, whom he is held to have assisted in the Farnesina and the Vatican. After Raphael's death, Raffaellino...

, Andrea Sabbatini
Andrea Sabbatini
Andrea Sabbatini was an Italian painter of the Renaissance, born in Salerno, and one of the best disciples of Raphael....

, Bartolommeo Ramenghi
Bartolommeo Ramenghi
Bartolommeo Ramenghi , also called Bagnacavallo, il Bagnacavallo or il Baruffaldi, was an Italian painter of the Renaissance, active in Emilia-Romagna....

, Pellegrino Aretusi
Pellegrino Aretusi
Pellegrino Aretusi , also known as Pellegrini de Modena and as Pellegrino Munari, was an Italian painter who was born in Modena, Italy. His early instruction was from his father Giovanni Munari. About 1509, Pellegrino went to Rome to assist Raphael at the Vatican. Pellegrino was then...

, Vincenzo Tamagni
Vincenzo Tamagni
Vincenzo Tamagni was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. Born in San Gimignano, he became an apprentice first with il Sodoma at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, and then worked in the Vatican Loggie under Raphael in Rome . Drawings of the Raphael frescoes in Tamagni’s hand exist. He mainly painted in...

, Battista Dossi
Battista Dossi
Battista Dossi , also known as Battista de Luteri, was an Italian painter who belonged to the Ferrara School of Painting. He spent nearly his entire career in service of the Court of Ferrara, where he worked with his older brother Dosso Dossi . It is believed that Battista worked in the Rome...

, Tommaso Vincidor
Tommaso Vincidor
Tommaso di Andrea Vincidor was an Italian Renaissance painter and architect who trained with Raphael and spent most of his career in the Netherlands. He was also called Tommaso Vincitore, Tommaso da Bologna and Thomas Polonais .He was the pupil of Raphael, whom he helped in the execution of the...

, Timoteo Viti
Timoteo Viti
Timoteo Viti , sometimes called Timoteo della Viti or Timoteo da Urbino, was an Italian Renaissance painter, who was closely associated with Raphael, who was fourteen years his junior.-Career:...

 (the Urbino painter), and the sculptor and architect Lorenzetto
Lorenzetto
Lorenzo Lotti, also known as Lorenzetto, , born Lorenzo di Lodovico di Guglielmo, was an Italian Renaissance sculptor and architect in the circle of Raphael....

 (Giulio's brother-in-law). The printmakers and architects in Raphael's circle are discussed below. It has been claimed the Flemish Bernard van Orley
Bernard van Orley
Bernard van Orley , also called Barend or Barent van Orley, Bernaert van Orley or Barend van Brussel, was a Flemish Northern Renaissance painter and draughtsman, and also a leading designer of tapestries and stained glass...

 worked for Raphael for a time, and Luca Penni, brother of Gianfrancesco, may have been a member of the team.

Architecture


After Bramante's death in 1514, he was named architect of the new St Peter's
St. Peter's Basilica
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter , officially known in Italian as ' and commonly known as Saint Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. Saint Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world...

. Most of his work there was altered or demolished after his death and the acceptance of Michelangelo's design, but a few drawings have survived. It appears his designs would have made the church a good deal gloomier than the final design, with massive piers all the way down the nave, "like an alley" according to a critical posthumous analysis by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
thumb|250px|The church of Santa Maria di Loreto near the [[Trajan's Market]] in [[Rome]], considered Sangallo's masterwork.thumb|250px|View of St. Patrick's Well in [[Orvieto]]....

. It would perhaps have resembled the temple in the background of The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple
The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple
The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple is a fresco of the Italian renaissance painter Raphael. It was painted between 1511 and 1512 as part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican...

.

He designed several other buildings, and for a short time was the most important architect in Rome, working for a small circle around the Papacy. Julius had made changes to the street plan of Rome, creating several new thoroughfares, and he wanted them filled with splendid palaces.

An important building, the Palazzo Aquila
Palazzo Branconio dell'Aquila
The Palazzo Branconio dell'Aquila is a lost palace in the Borgo of Rome , designed by Raphael for Giovanbattista Branconio dell'Aquila, a papal advisor and goldsmith....

 for Leo's Papal Chamberlain
Chamberlain (office)
A chamberlain is an officer in charge of managing a household. In many countries there are ceremonial posts associated with the household of the sovereign....

 Giovanni Battista Branconio
Giovanbattista Branconio dell'Aquila
Giovanbattista Branconio dell'Aquila was a papal protonotary and chamberlain, as well as a friend of the artist Raphael...

, was completely destroyed to make way for Bernini's piazza for St. Peter's, but drawings of the facade and courtyard remain. The facade was an unusually richly decorated one for the period, including both painted panels on the top story (of three), and much sculpture on the middle one.

The main designs for the Villa Farnesina were not by Raphael, but he did design, and paint, the Chigi Chapel
Chigi Chapel
The Chigi Chapel is one of six chapels in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, Piazza del Popolo, Rome. The Chigi chapel, the second on the left-hand side of the nave, was designed by Raphael as a private chapel for his friend and patron Sienese banker Agostino Chigi, then completed by Gian...

 for the same patron, Agostino Chigi
Agostino Chigi
Agostino Andrea Chigi was an Italian banker and patron of the Renaissance.Born in Siena, he was the son of the prominent banker Mariano Chigi, a member of an ancient and illustrious house. He moved to Rome around 1487, collaborating with his father...

, the Papal Treasurer. Another building, for Pope Leo's doctor, the Palazzo di Jacobo da Brescia, was moved in the 1930s but survives; this was designed to complement a palace on the same street by Bramante, where Raphael himself lived for a time.

The Villa Madama
Villa Madama
Villa Madama is situated half way up the slope of Monte Mario Which faces directly north-east and because the hill is curved the part which looks towards Rome faces south and the opposite faces north-west...

, a lavish hillside retreat for Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, later Pope Clement VII
Pope Clement VII
Clement VII , born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici, was a cardinal from 1513 to 1523 and was Pope from 1523 to 1534.-Early life:...

, was never finished, and his full plans have to be reconstructed speculatively. He produced a design from which the final construction plans were completed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
thumb|250px|The church of Santa Maria di Loreto near the [[Trajan's Market]] in [[Rome]], considered Sangallo's masterwork.thumb|250px|View of St. Patrick's Well in [[Orvieto]]....

. Even incomplete, it was the most sophisticated villa design yet seen in Italy, and greatly influenced the later development of the genre; it appears to be the only modern building in Rome of which Palladio made a measured drawing.

Only some floor-plans remain for a large palace planned for himself on the new via Giulia
Via Giulia
Via Giulia is a street in the historic centre of Rome, Italy, mostly in rione Regola, although its northern part belongs to rione Ponte. It was one of the first important urban planning projects in Renaissance Rome....

 in the rione of Regola
Regola (rione of Rome)
Regola is the VII rione of Rome. The name comes from Arenula, that was the name of the soft sand that the river Tiber left after the floods, and that built strands on the left bank...

, for which he was accumulating the land in his last years. It was on an irregular island block near the river Tiber. It seems all facades were to have a giant order
Giant order
In Classical architecture, a giant order is an order whose columns or pilasters span two stories...

 of pilaster
Pilaster
A pilaster is a slightly-projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall. Most commonly flattened or rectangular in form, pilasters can also take a half-round form or the shape of any type of column, including tortile....

s rising at least two storeys to the full height of the piano nobile
Piano nobile
The piano nobile is the principal floor of a large house, usually built in one of the styles of classical renaissance architecture...

, "a gandiloquent feature unprecedented in private palace design".

In 1515 he was given powers as "Prefect" over all antiquities unearthed entrusted within the city, or a mile outside. Raphael wrote a letter to Pope Leo suggesting ways of halting the destruction of ancient monuments, and proposed a visual survey of the city to record all antiquities in an organised fashion. The Pope's concerns were not exactly the same; he intended to continue to re-use ancient masonry in the building of St Peter's, but wanted to ensure that all ancient inscriptions were recorded, and sculpture preserved, before allowing the stones to be reused.

Drawings




Raphael was one of the finest draftsmen in the history of Western art, and used drawings extensively to plan his compositions. According to a near-contemporary, when beginning to plan a composition, he would lay out a large number of stock drawings of his on the floor, and begin to draw "rapidly", borrowing figures from here and there. Over forty sketches survive for the Disputa in the Stanze, and there may well have been many more originally; over four hundred sheets survive altogether. He used different drawings to refine his poses and compositions, apparently to a greater extent than most other painters, to judge by the number of variants that survive: "... This is how Raphael himself, who was so rich in inventiveness, used to work, always coming up with four or six ways to show a narrative, each one different from the rest, and all of them full of grace and well done." wrote another writer after his death. For John Shearman
John Shearman
John Kinder Gowran Shearman was an English art historian who also taught in America. He was a specialist in Italian Renaissance painting, regarded by many as "the outstanding figure" of his generation in this area, who published several influential works, but whose expected major books on...

, Raphael's art marks "a shift of resources away from production to research and development".

When a final composition was achieved, scaled-up full-size cartoons were often made, which were then pricked with a pin and "pounced" with a bag of soot to leave dotted lines on the surface as a guide. He also made unusually extensive use, on both paper and plaster, of a "blind stylus", scratching lines which leave only an indentation, but no mark. These can be seen on the wall in The School of Athens, and in the originals of many drawings. The "Raphael Cartoons", as tapestry designs, were fully coloured in a glue distemper
Distemper (paint)
Distemper is a term with a variety of meanings for paints used in decorating and as a historical medium for painting pictures. The binding element may be some form of glue or oil; these are known in decorating respectively as soft distemper and oil bound distemper.-Soft distemper:Distemper is an...

 medium, as they were sent to Brussels to be followed by the weavers.

In later works painted by the workshop, the drawings are often painfully more attractive than the paintings. Most Raphael drawings are rather precise—even initial sketches with naked outline figures are carefully drawn, and later working drawings often have a high degree of finish, with shading and sometimes highlights in white. They lack the freedom and energy of some of Leonardo's and Michelangelo's sketches, but are nearly always aesthetically very satisfying. He was one of the last artists to use metalpoint (literally a sharp pointed piece of sliver or another metal) extensively, although he also made superb use of the freer medium of red or black chalk. In his final years he was one of the first artists to use female models for preparatory drawings—male pupils ("garzoni") were normally used for studies of both sexes.

Printmaking


Raphael made no prints
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition . A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term. The main techniques concerned are woodcut, engraving and etching, although there are...

 himself, but entered into a collaboration with Marcantonio Raimondi
Marcantonio Raimondi
Marcantonio Raimondi, also simply Marcantonio, was an Italian engraver, known for being the first important printmaker whose body of work consists mainly of prints copying paintings. He is therefore a key figure in the rise of the reproductive print...

 to produce engraving
Engraving
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing...

s to Raphael's designs, which created many of the most famous Italian prints of the century, and was important in the rise of the reproductive print. His interest was unusual in such a major artist; from his contemporaries it was only shared by Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

, who had worked much less successfully with Raimondi. A total of about fifty prints were made; some were copies of Raphael's paintings, but other designs were apparently created by Raphael purely to be turned into prints. Raphael made preparatory drawings, many of which survive, for Raimondi to translate into engraving.

The most famous original prints to result from the collaboration were Lucretia, the Judgement of Paris and The Massacre of the Innocents (of which two virtually identical versions were engraved). Among prints of the paintings The Parnassus
The Parnassus
The Parnassus is a painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael.-Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican Palace:Pope Julius II commissioned Raphael to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Palace of the Vatican...

(with considerable differences) and Galatea were also especially well-known. Outside Italy, reproductive prints by Raimondi and others were the main way that Raphael's art was experienced until the twentieth century. Baviero Carocci, called "Il Baviera" by Vasari, an assistant who Raphael evidently trusted with his money, ended up in control of most of the copper plates after Raphael's death, and had a successful career in the new occupation of a publisher of prints.

Private life and death


Raphael lived in the Palazzo Caprini
Palazzo Caprini
Palazzo Caprini was a Renaissance palazzo in Rome, Italy, in the Borgo rione between Piazza Scossacavalli and via Alessandrina. It was designed by Donato Bramante around 1510, or a few years before....

 in the Borgo
Borgo (rione of Rome)
Borgo , is the 14th historic district of Rome, Italy. It lies on the west bank of the Tiber, and has a trapezoidal shape. Its coat of arms shows a lion , lying in front of three mounts and a star...

, in rather grand style in a palace designed by Bramante. He never married, but in 1514 became engaged to Maria Bibbiena, Cardinal Medici Bibbiena's niece; he seems to have been talked into this by his friend the Cardinal, and his lack of enthusiasm seems to be shown by the marriage not taking place before she died in 1520. 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 from Siena who lived at Via del Governo Vecchio. He was made a "Groom of the Chamber
Valet de chambre
Valet de chambre , or varlet de chambre, was a court appointment introduced in the late Middle Ages, common from the 14th century onwards. Royal Households had many persons appointed at any time...

" of the Pope, which gave him status at court and an additional income, and also a knight of the Papal Order of the Golden Spur. Vasari claims he had toyed with the ambition of becoming a Cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

, perhaps after some encouragement from Leo, which also may account for his delaying his marriage.

According to Vasari, Raphael's premature death on Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

 (April 6, 1520), which was possibly his 37th birthday, was caused by a night of excessive sex with Luti, after which he fell into a fever and, not telling his doctors that this was its cause, was given the wrong cure, which killed him. Vasari also says that Raphael had also been born on a Good Friday, which in 1483 fell on March 28.

Whatever the cause, in his acute illness, which lasted fifteen days, Raphael was composed enough to receive the last rites
Last Rites
The Last Rites are the very last prayers and ministrations given to many Christians before death. The last rites go by various names and include different practices in different Christian traditions...

, and to put his affairs in order. He dictated his will, in which he left sufficient funds for his mistress's care, entrusted to his loyal servant Baviera, and left most of his studio contents to Giulio Romano and Penni. At his request, Raphael was buried in the Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

.

His funeral was extremely grand, attended by large crowds. The inscription in his marble sarcophagus, an elegiac distich written by Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, literary theorist, and cardinal. He was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language, specifically Tuscan, as a literary medium, and his writings assisted in the 16th-century revival of interest in the works of Petrarch...

, reads: "Ille hic est Raffael, timuit quo sospite vinci, rerum magna parens et moriente mori." Meaning: "Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die."

Critical reception



Raphael was highly admired by his contemporaries, although his influence on artistic style in his own century was less than that of Michelangelo. Mannerism
Mannerism
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

, beginning at the time of his death, and later the Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

, took art "in a direction totally opposed" to Raphael's qualities; "with Raphael's death, classic art - the High Renaissance - subsided", as Walter Friedländer
Walter Friedländer
Walter Ferdinand Friedlaender was a German art historian.Born in Glogau, he was taught art history by Heinrich Wölfflin and others...

 put it. He was soon seen as the ideal model by those disliking the excesses of Mannerism:
the opinion ...was generally held in the middle of the sixteenth century that Raphael was the ideal balanced painter, universal in his talent, satisfying all the absolute standards, and obeying all the rules which were supposed to govern the arts, whereas Michelangelo was the eccentric genius, more brilliant than any other artists in his particular field, the drawing of the male nude, but unbalanced and lacking in certain qualities, such as grace and restraint, essential to the great artist. Those, like Dolce and Aretino
Aretino
Aretino is a surname or nickname , and may refer to:* Maginardo , called Aretino, an Italian architect* Leonardo Aretino , Florentine humanist, historian and chancellor...

, who held this view were usually the survivors of Renaissance Humanism
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

, unable to follow Michelangelo as he moved on into Mannerism.
Vasari himself, despite his hero remaining Michelangelo, came to see his influence as harmful in some ways, and added passages to the second edition of the Lives
Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects
The Lives of the Most Excellent Italian Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, from Cimabue to Our Times, or Le Vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori da Cimabue insino a' tempi nostri, as it was originally known in Italian, is a series of artist biographies written by 16th century...

expressing similar views.

Raphael's compositions were always admired and studied, and became the cornerstone of the training of the Academies of art
Academic art
Academic art is a style of painting and sculpture produced under the influence of European academies of art. Specifically, academic art is the art and artists influenced by the standards of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, which practiced under the movements of Neoclassicism and Romanticism,...

. His period of greatest influence was from the late 17th to late 19th centuries, when his perfect decorum and balance were greatly admired. He was seen as the best model for the history painting
History painting
History painting is a genre in painting defined by subject matter rather than an artistic style, depicting a moment in a narrative story, rather than a static subject such as a portrait...

, regarded as the highest in the hierarchy of genres
Hierarchy of genres
A hierarchy of genres is any formalization which ranks different genres in an art form in terms of their prestige and cultural value....

. Sir Joshua Reynolds
Joshua Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA was an influential 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy...

 in his Discourses praised his "simple, grave, and majestic dignity" and said he "stands in general foremost of the first [ie best] painters", especially for his frescoes (in which he included the "Raphael Cartoons"), whereas "Michael Angelo claims the next attention. He did not possess so many excellences as Raffaelle, but those he had were of the highest kind..." Echoing the sixteenth-century views above, Reynolds goes on to say of Raphael:

The excellency of this extraordinary man lay in the propriety, beauty, and majesty of his characters, his judicious contrivance of his composition, correctness of drawing, purity of taste, and the skilful accommodation of other men’s conceptions to his own purpose. Nobody excelled him in that judgment, with which he united to his own observations on nature the energy of Michael Angelo, and the beauty and simplicity of the antique. To the question, therefore, which ought to hold the first rank, Raffaelle or Michael Angelo, it must be answered, that if it is to be given to him who possessed a greater combination of the higher qualities of the art than any other man, there is no doubt but Raffaelle is the first. But if, according to Longinus
Longinus (literature)
Longinus is the conventional name of the author of the treatise, On the Sublime , a work which focuses on the effect of good writing. Longinus, sometimes referred to as Pseudo-Longinus because his real name is unknown, was a Greek teacher of rhetoric or a literary critic who may have lived in the...

, the sublime, being the highest excellence that human composition can attain to, abundantly compensates the absence of every other beauty, and atones for all other deficiencies, then Michael Angelo demands the preference.
Reynolds was less enthusiastic about Raphael's panel paintings, but the slight sentimentality of these made them enormously popular in the 19th century:"We have been familiar with them from childhood onwards, through a far greater mass of reproductions than any other artist in the world has ever had..." wrote Wölfflin
Heinrich Wölfflin
Heinrich Wölfflin was a famous Swiss art critic, whose objective classifying principles were influential in the development of formal analysis in the history of art during the 20th century. He taught at Basel, Berlin and Munich in the generation that raised German art history to pre-eminence...

, who was born in 1862, of Raphael's Madonnas.

In 19th century England the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti...

 explicitly reacted against his influence (and that of his admirers such as "Sir Sploshua"), seeking to return to styles before what they saw as his baneful influence. According to a critic whose ideas greatly influenced them, John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

:

The doom of the arts of Europe went forth from that chamber [the Stanza della Segnatura], and it was brought about in great part by the very excellencies of the man who had thus marked the commencement of decline. The perfection of execution and the beauty of feature which were attained in his works, and in those of his great contemporaries, rendered finish of execution and beauty of form the chief objects of all artists; and thenceforward execution was looked for rather than thought, and beauty rather than veracity.


And as I told you, these are the two secondary causes of the decline of art; the first being the loss of moral purpose. Pray note them clearly. In mediæval art, thought is the first thing, execution the second; in modern art execution is the first thing, and thought the second. And again, in mediæval art, truth is first, beauty second; in modern art, beauty is first, truth second. The mediæval principles led up to Raphael, and the modern principles lead down from him.


He was still seen by 20th century critics like Bernard Berenson
Bernard Berenson
Bernard Berenson was an American art historian specializing in the Renaissance. He was a major figure in pioneering art attribution and therefore establishing the market for paintings by the "Old Masters".-Personal life:...

 as the "most famous and most loved" master of the High Renaissance, but it would seem he has since been overtaken by Michelangelo and Leonardo in this respect.

Main references

  • Blunt, Anthony
    Anthony Blunt
    Anthony Frederick Blunt , was a British art historian who was exposed as a Soviet spy late in his life.Blunt was Professor of the History of Art at the University of London, director of the Courtauld Institute of Art, Surveyor of the King's Pictures and London...

    , Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450-1660, 1940 (refs to 1985 edn), OUP, ISBN 0-19-881050-4
  • Gould, Cecil
    Cecil Gould
    Cecil Hilton Monk Gould was a British art historian and curator who specialised in Renaissance painting. He was a former Keeper and Deputy Director of the National Gallery in London.-Life:...

    , The Sixteenth Century Italian Schools, National Gallery Catalogues, London 1975, ISBN 0-947645-22-5
  • Roger Jones and Nicholas Penny
    Nicholas Penny
    Nicholas Penny, FSA is a British art historian. Since Spring 2008 he has been director of the National Gallery in London....

    , Raphael, Yale, 1983, ISBN 0-300-03061-4
  • Landau, David in:David Landau & Peter Parshall, The Renaissance Print, Yale, 1996, ISBN 0-300-06883-2
  • Pon, Lisa, Raphael, Dürer, and Marcantonio Raimondi, Copying and the Italian Renaissance Print, 2004, Yale UP, ISBN 978-0-300-09680-4
  • Shearman, John
    John Shearman
    John Kinder Gowran Shearman was an English art historian who also taught in America. He was a specialist in Italian Renaissance painting, regarded by many as "the outstanding figure" of his generation in this area, who published several influential works, but whose expected major books on...

    ; Raphael in Early Modern Sources 1483-1602, 2003, Yale University Press, ISBN 0-300-09918-5
  • Vasari
    Giorgio Vasari
    Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

    , Life of Raphael from the Lives of the Artists, edition used: Artists of the Renaissance selected & ed Malcolm Bull, Penguin 1965 (page nos from BCA edn, 1979)
  • Wölfflin, Heinrich
    Heinrich Wölfflin
    Heinrich Wölfflin was a famous Swiss art critic, whose objective classifying principles were influential in the development of formal analysis in the history of art during the 20th century. He taught at Basel, Berlin and Munich in the generation that raised German art history to pre-eminence...

    ; Classic Art; An Introduction to the Renaissance, 1952 in English (1968 edition), Phaidon, New York.

Further reading

  • The standard source of biographical information is now: V. Golzio, Raffaello nei documenti nelle testimonianze dei contemporanei e nella letturatura del suo secolo, Vatican City and Westmead, 1971
  • The Cambridge Companion to Raphael, Marcia B. Hall, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-80809-X,
  • New catalogue raisonné in several volumes, still being published, Jürg Meyer zur Capellen, Stefan B. Polter, Arcos, 2001-2008
  • Raphael, Pier Luigi De Vecchi, Abbeville Press, 2003
  • Raphael, Bette Talvacchia, 2007, Phaidon Press
  • Raphael; John Pope-Hennessy, New York University Press, 1970, ISBN 0-8147-0476-X
  • Raphael: From Urbino to Rome; Hugo Chapman, Tom Henry, Carol Plazzotta, Arnold Nesselrath, Nicholas Penny
    Nicholas Penny
    Nicholas Penny, FSA is a British art historian. Since Spring 2008 he has been director of the National Gallery in London....

    , National Gallery Publications Limited, 2004, ISBN 1-85709-999-0 (exhibition catalogue)
  • Raphael Trail: The Secret History of One of the World's Most Precious Works of Art; Joanna Pitman, 2006
  • Raphael - A Critical Catalogue of his Pictures, Wall-Paintings and Tapestries, catalogue raisonné by Luitpold Dussler published in the United States by Phaidon Publishers, Inc., 1971, ISBN 0-7148-1469-5 (out of print, but there is an online version here)

External links