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Raphael

Griffin Perry Honors Global Studies

10/24/13 Raphael Biography

Throughout the years, many amazing artists have walked this earth, all from different backgrounds. Among these artists we find Raffaello Sanzio, also known as Raphael. Raphael and others such as Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci defined the art of the Renaissance, representing new aspects of humanism and perspective. Born in 1483 in Urbino, Italy, Raphaels childhood was very influenced by art. His father was a painter for the Duke of Urbino and court of Federico da Montefeltro and his mother was a large patron of the arts. Ever since he was a child, Raphael had a true talent for art. He caught the eye of many around him, including Pietro Perugino, an artist thriving in High Renaissance. Perugino took Raphael under his wing and mentored him in art. As he grew up as a child prodigy, Raphael moved to Florence, Italy in 1504 to further explore his potential. Raphael stayed in Florence until 1508 where he painted many famous masterpieces including Saint Catherine and the Knights Dream. This period where he painted in Florence was known as the Florentine Period. In 1508, Pope Julius II summoned him to Rome where he was ordered to paint for all of the next popes until his death. His first order was to decorate the Stanza della Segnatura, which was a room in the upper floors of the Vatican, which the Pope mostly used as a personal library. Here, he painted some of the most well known paintings that are still recognized today. Among these paintings was the School of Athens, which was arguably Raphaels most famous painting. This painting shows a group of thinking philosophers including Plato and Aristotle. Raphael even included a self-portrait in this painting. Many other projects succeeded this one and Raphael lived his life in Rome as a painter for the church. He

became engaged to Cardinal Medici Bibbiena's niece, Maria Bibbiena even though this was by the choice of the Cardinal. Other than this affair, Raphael had no substantial relationships with any women. Another one of Raphaels well known paintings were named Galatea, who was a Greek nymph brought to life by Aphrodite. In this painting, Raphael shows Galatea transforming upon death into a beautiful human that would live on eternally as a reward for suffering patiently in real life. The painting is supposed to represent triumph of Platonic Love, which is the love of the spirit as opposed to love of flesh. This painting was painted for one of the richest men of the Renaissance in a beautiful villa on the outskirts of Rome. In Raphaels last altarpiece, the Transfiguration, painted in 1518, Raphael shows a bottom half of the painting extremely dark and mysterious with a group of apostles who are pleading god to cure a possessed boy because they cannot. In a lighter upper half of the painting, he shows Jesus surrounded by a blaze of light. As his life continued, he mostly painted portraits of wealthy people such as Pope Julius II and his close circle of friends. Raphael also saw the significance of engraving in his paintings, which added a more real 3-Dimension effect. He partnered up with engraver Marcantonio Raimondo and the two of them made engraving very well known and influential in Europe. Raphael and Raimondo would make engravings of already-paintings painted by Raphael and also sketches made solely for the purpose of engraving. As his life wore on, Raphael painted smaller paintings and portraitures but no major paintings toward the end of his life. At the age of thirty-seven in Rome, Raphael died from a fever lasting ten days. His legacy of his artwork still lives on today and amazes people just as it did in High Renaissance. His early death also sparked the end of the Italian Renaissance, transitioning to a more explorative and liberal time period. His

work today is still characterized by his perfect use of color, balance of composition, and sweetness in the main attraction of his paintings. Raphael Sanzio had a massive impact on the Italian Renaissance which and his breathtaking paintings still amaze millions of people today.