Raphael (1483 – 1520) was a great Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. He was born in Urbino, a relatively small town in the Marche region of central Italy. His father, Giovanni Santi, was a court painter for the Duke of Urbino. Raphael showed an early interest in art and was soon apprenticed to his father. After Giovanni’s death in 1494, Raphael left for Florence.
In Florence, Raphael studied the works of great artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. He also became friends with painter and poet Giovanni Boccaccio. Raphael’s time in Florence was cut short by a summons from Pope Julius II to return to Rome.
Raphael quickly rose to prominence in Rome. He painted a number of important commissions for the Pope, including the frescoes in the Vatican’s Stanza della Segnatura and the Transfiguration in the Vatican Pinacoteca. He also designed tapestries and architecture for the Vatican.
In 1514, Raphael was named chief architect of St. Peter’s Basilica. He worked on the project for four years, but his design was never realized. Raphael also worked on other architectural projects in Rome, including the Palazzo Farnese.
Raphael’s Roman period was extremely productive. In addition to paintings and architecture, he also produced a large body of drawings and prints. He died in Rome in 1520, at the age of 37.
but died before it was completed.
Raphael was one of the most important artists of the High Renaissance. His work combines the idealism of Michelangelo with the graceful figures and classical poses of Leonardo da Vinci. Raphael’s paintings are characterized by their clarity of form and lightness of atmosphere. He is considered one of the great masters of Renaissance art.