Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raffaello or Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect. He was born in Italy on March 2, 1483.
Raphael’s works are from the High Renaissance period of time. And he was able to demonstrate a great composition, human grandeur, and clarity of form throughout his works.
Continue reading and discover all these amazing facts about Raphael
1. Raphael was destined to become a painter
Raffaello Sanzio was born on April 6, 1483, in Urbino, Italy. An interesting fact about Raphael is that his father was Giovanni Santi, a well-known painter who worked for the Duke of Urbino.
During that time, Urbino was famous for being a cultural center where all arts were encouraged.
Raphael grew up surrounded by paintings, colors and brushes. In fact, his father taught him the basic painting techniques, and he was always exposed to Urbino’s art circles.
2. His early childhood was tough
Raphael’s early years were also filled with sadness. His siblings died when they were young, and his mother, Magia di Battista di Nicola Ciarla, died in 1491 when Raphael was only nine years old.
In addition, when Raphael was 11 years old, his father Giovanni died. Raphael had to grow up and become the manager of his father’s workshop. Things turned out great, because Raphael soon made a name for himself as he surpassed his father’s talent.
3. Raphael was an excellent student
This is why painters from all over Italy wanted him to become their apprentice, an interesting Raphael fact. Finally, in 1500, Raphael travelled to Perugia to become an apprentice to a well-known painter called Pietro Vannunci.
Vannunci was working on some frescoes that were going to the Collegio del Cambia, and Raphael was able to work on these with him as well.
Raphael’s apprenticeship lasted for more than four years, and he was able to learn many new techniques that his father didn’t teach him. He was also able to gain some knowledge on how the process of a painting goes as he had hands-on experience.
During this period, Raphael completed very important works, such as Mond Crucifixion, The Three Graces, The Knight’s Dream and the famous Marriage of the Virgin.
4. Raphael and his famous Madonnas
In 1504, Raphael decided to leave his apprenticeship and he ended up moving to Florence, where he was able to see some of the works made by Fra Bartolommeo, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Masaccio.
Raphael was impressed by all of them, so he started to study how their techniques were and all the details of their work.
Inspired by this, Raphael painted his famous series of Madonnas, a job that took him several years, from 1504 to 1507.
But it was in 1507, when Raphael created one of the most ambitious works of his time, which was the Entombment, a piece he did in Florence.
5. He also worked for the Vatican
Raphael moved to Rome in 1508, and it took him over two years to paint the Stanza della Segnatura, or Room of the Signature. He placed his frescoes there, in the Palace of the Vatican.
After that, he painted another fresco in the Stanza d’Eliodoro, or the Room of the Heliodorus. Raphael was now more famous than ever before, and in 1514, he was hired again, this time by Pope Julius II, only that this time he was going to work as an architect.
During this time, Raphael finished his last series of Madonnas.
6. He was also an important architect
Raphael was now an important painter in Italy. He decided to hire some apprentices and assistants to help him, as he had a lot of work to do. Together, they did the Stanza dell’Incendio, or Room of fire.
But Raphael soon took some other jobs as an architect. He designed the chapel in Sant’ Eligio degli Orefici. An interesting fact about Raphael is that he too designed the Santa Maria del Popolo Chapel in Rome, which can be found within the Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Raphael was interested in many things, and this was visible as his works are not only limited to religious buildings or religious paintings. In fact, Raphael designed many palaces and other private areas of houses.
Raphael was really known in Rome for all the work he had accomplished, however, outside of this capital city, he was known for his printmaking skills.
7. Raphael died really young
Raphael died on April 6, 1520, when he was only 37 years old. He died all of a sudden, and it has remained a mystery how and why he died.
He was working on his largest oil painting canvas when he died. And this last work was called The Transfiguration, and it was commissioned in 1517.
Because he had been working with the Pope at the Vatican, when Raphael died, his funeral mass was also held at the Vatican, and his unfinished work was placed alongside his coffin.
His body was interred in the National Pantheon in Italy.
Raphael has been regarded as one of the greatest painters of all time. He has been a source of inspiration by many artists from his day up until today, an interesting Raphael fact.
And even though he was considered as the great rival of Michelangelo, both Raphael’s style and Michelangelo’s style have become widespread throughout the world.
It can be argued that Raphael’s career is naturally divided into three styles or phases, according to what he experienced in his private life as well.
The first period was during his childhood in Umbria and how he was able to learn the beginnings of his art from his father. Then, the second period was when he moved to Florence, and how he became an apprentice from another painter.
Finally, his last period was in Rome, and how he was able to work with two Popes and their associates in order to redesign some areas of the Vatican.
He is also considered a productive painter, especially because he started painting at a really young age. Raphael’s works have a lot of quality, and this has meant that all of his legacy still remains in a very important place, such as the Vatican.
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