“School Of Athens” By Raphael.

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Raphael (Sanzio, Raffaello) born in Urbino on March 28, or April 6 1483 and died in Rome on April 6 1520). He was the son of Giovanni Santi, a competent painter attached to the Montefeltro court in Urbino. Giovanni was esteemed by the court as a poet, chronicler, and deviser of masques as well as a painter. Although Raphael was only 11 when his father died, it is significant that he spent his first years near a court, for he was to become a court artist himself. In early years, he enjoy the patronage of Elisabetta Gonzaga, the Duchess of Urbino, and of the Duke's sister-in-law Giovanni della Rovere, known as the Prefetessa. It was the Prefetessa who on October 1st 1504 supplied Raphael with a letter of recommendation to Piero Soderini, the ruler of Florence, where Raphael proposed to study. By then Raphael had been active for at least 5 years as an independent painter and had received commissions for major altarpieces in Citta di Castello and Perugia, not far from Urbino.

Most remarkably, he had also made detailed compositional drawings for a series of frescoes in the Biblioteca Piccolomini in Siena commissioned from Bernardo Pinturicchio, then the most successful artist in Italy.

He has always been acknowledge as on of the greatest European artists. With Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Titian, he was one of the most famous painters working in Italy in the period from 1500 to 1520, often identified as the High Renaissance, and in this period he was perhaps the most important figure. In between 1504 and 1508 he created some of his finest portraits and a series of devotional paintings of the Holy Family. In 1508 he moved to Rome, where he decorated in fresco the Stanze of the papal apartments in the...

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