Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino
1483; Urbino, Italy
1520; Rome, Italy
1499 - 1520
Giorgio de Chirico
Düsseldorf School of Painting
Anton Raphael Mengs
Considered one of great master painters, Raphael was an Italian painter and architect in the High Renaissance. Raphael, along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, are considered the great trinity of master painters of the High Renaissance period. He was a prolific artist, and despite death at the young age of 37, has a considerable body of work to study.
Raphael was born into an artistic family, as his father was the court painter to The Duke of Urbino. After his mother’s death in 1491 and his father’s death in 1494, eleven year old Raphael, who had already shown artistic talent, played a large role in continuing his father’s painting studio. He was first described as a fully-trained master painter in 1501, roughly around the age of 19. Even at this early stage in his career, he was in high demand, and completed many commissioned works. Raphael continued to paint, traveling constantly, living the life of a semi-nomadic painter. He was able to merge the influence of Florentine art with his own developing style, creating a smooth, flowing composition, which was highly regarded.
The three great masters, Raphael, Leondardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, were all contemporaries. Leonardo was thirty years Raphael’s senior, and the younger painter incorporated many elements of da Vinci’s paintings in to his own works. Michelangelo, on the other hand, was only eight years Raphael’s senior. Michelangelo already did not like Leonardo, and he disliked the rising popularity of Raphael even more, starting conspiracies and spreading rumors about Raphael.
In 1508, Raphael moved to Rome, where he would reside for the rest of his life. His first major work inn Rome was a commission to decorate the Pope’s private library, the Stanza della Segnatura. After he finished this room, the Pope was so pleased with his work that he assigned him to other rooms of the building, displacing other artists who had been commissioned to complete the works.