Raphael (1483-1520)

Italian master painter and architect of the Italian High Renaissance, Raphael is best known for his Madonnas, such as Madonna della Sedia, and his large figure compositions now housed in the Vatican in Rome. His work is much admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur.

Raphael was already being described as a master in 1501. After moving to Rome in 1508, Raphael was commissioned by Julius II to paint some of the rooms of the palace in the Vatican. One of these paintings was The School of Athens. This was unheard of at the time for a inexperienced artists of only 25 years old. In 1514, Raphael was commissioned to rebuild St. Peter s, and although his work has since been demolished or altered, for a time he was the most important painter and architect in Rome.

Marked by perfection and grace, Raphael paintings and sculptures were highly admired by his contemporaries. When compared to the great Michelangelo or Titian, Raphael may be considered inferior, but he always triumphs when considering the ease and grace of his creations.


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