Raphael Sanzio

Raphael Sanzio
Born Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino
Mar. 28 or Apr. 6, 1483
Urbino, Marche
Died Apr. 6, 1520 (at age 37)
Rome, Italy
Nationality Italian
Movement High Renaissance
Field Painting, Architecture
Famous Paintings by Raphael
School of Athens
Transfiguration
The Marriage of the Virgin
Resurrection of Christ
Self-portrait
La belle jardinière
Ezekiel’s Vision
The Sistine Madonna
Madonna and Child with the Book
View Complete Works

Raffaello Sanzio, or Raphael, was born on April 6, 1483 in the town of Urbino, Italy. He was a painter and architect during the High Renaissance period. Compared to other Masters of the time, Raphael remained productive, running a workshop that included 50 students and assistants. Much of his works remain, since they were done mainly for the Vatican. His artworks are commonly organized into three phases: his early career, which conveyed the influence of his teacher; the Florentine period, when Raphael went to the city for four years; and his final years in which he produced his best works.

Raphael came from a family of artists. His father was a court painter to the Duke of Urbino, Federico Il da Montefeltro, and he helped his father paint some of pieces for the court. Growing up and around the court, this introduced Raphael to practicing proper manners and social skills, which other artists of his time lacked. His mother died when he was eight. His father remarried, but also died four years later. Orphaned, Raphael lived with his uncle Bartolomeo, a priest. Since he helped his father at the Duke’s court, he showed his talent while living with his uncle. He did a self portrait when he was about 15 or 16; it is the earliest known example of his work.

He started an apprenticeship under Umbrian master Pietro Perugino. By 1501, he was ready and was considered a Master. His style though, was hard to tell from that of his teacher. Their style and technique are very similar. They apply thick paint, and both use a varnish which causes the finished piece to crack.

His first work is the Baronci Altarpiece for the Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentino in 1502. He visited Sienna with another Perugino assistant, Pinturicchio. They worked on a fresco series together at the Piccolomini Library and Sienna Cathedral. From there, he traveled to Florentine, from 1504-1508. He quickly absorbed Michelangelo’s work, and thought it inspiring. Michelangelo hated Raphael, and thought that he was conspiring against him. For some reason, when Raphael was in Florentine, he was obsessed with drawing naked fighting men. But nothing ever came out of it; just a lot of drawings.

In 1508, he went to Rome, and lived there the rest of his life. In 1510, he was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the Pope’s personal library. There were four frescoes altogether: philosophy, law, poetry, and theology. The most well known is The School of Athens, which represents Philosophy. Many well-known people are portrayed, including Michelangelo. In the center is Plato and Aristotle, Athena is on the right, Michelangelo is the brooding, crouching figure in the front. This work portrays the Renaissance as the new classical age. Pope Julius II died in 1513, but that didn’t stop the work from being completed.

The next Pope, Medici Pope Leo X, befriended Raphael, and gave him even more commissions. In addition, because he was friends with the architect Bramante, he got a sneak peak of the Sistine Chapel, and was awestruck by its scale and beauty.

In 1513, he painted Galatea, based on a several mythological characters. It shows Polyphemus, a one eyed consort (Cyclops) to Galatea, fleeing. The painting incorporates DaVinci’s triangular composition, which shows how Raphael was being influenced by other artists. Two years later, he finished another significant painting, The Sacrifice at Lystra. This work displays two men, Paul and Barnabas, journeying to preach the word of God. They end up in this town, and the town folk believe they are Gods because they heal a crippled man.

Raphael was an accomplished architect as well as painter. Since he was Pope Leo X’s best friend, he was given the commission to design St. Peter’s Cathedral, but it was never carried out. If it had been, there would be columns all the way down the nave, which would have made it darker and bulkier than the current design. He also worked on some villas as well, but only one still exists.

During his lifetime, he was made Groom of the Chamber, which means he just waits for the Pope to help him, or in Raphael’s case, he received “favors” from Pope Leo. He was knighted of the Papal Order of the Golden Spur, recognizing your contribution to the glory of the Catholic Church. Both titles help increase one’s income.

Raphael was supposed to marry Maria Bibbiena, his fiancée, but he never did. Speculation had it that he was thinking about becoming a Cardinal, and if you’re with the Church, marriage was not allowed. Another possible reason is he never really loved her. He had a mistress, whom he nicknamed “La Fornarina”, but her real name was Margherita Luti. Maria actually died only a month or two before Raphael himself.

The last painting by Raphael was The Transfiguration in 1520. He died April 6, 1520. His death was caused by a long night of excessive sex with his mistress, and he fell into a fever. He was given the wrong cure by his doctors, and he died. He was 37 years old. Raphael’s funeral was grand, and was interred at the Pantheon. On his sarcophagus, it says, “Here lies that famous Raphael by whom nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die.”

Vassari wrote a biography of Raphael, and said that he was, “So gentle and charitable that even the animals loved him.”

85 Responses to “Raphael Sanzio”

  1. Cuteangel says:

    I am so glad people like this artist did what they did.Im only 13 but I look up to these artist dead or alive because they give me ideas.

  2. bradleut says:

    ewww his death

  3. I’m doing a history project on Raphael and once I started researching him I got really interested!!! Also, I really love this website thing your doing!!! This website is awesome!!!!! ;p

  4. breyan says:

    i love this arist he inspires me

  5. Smiles says:

    this artist is amazing

  6. breyan says:

    this artist is asome im only 14 years old and i like his paintings to dead or alive his art work is lovely we have some this art place lol each painting shows all his efort he put into it to me and he rocks like kick butt and she has a best friend she is so cool she likes to party all night long

  7. alyssa says:

    i luv this guy cuz hes so smart and he inspires me to do great things!!!!!!!!

  8. sabrina says:

    omg i luv this artist he is so awesome i hope i get to see more of his paintings

  9. steve says:

    haaaaah trolled at death…:P but awesome site! It has REALLY helped me with my writing(cause i have a seven pager to write :/) and just learning itself…there was a lot of stuff I didn’t know in here!!

  10. deanna says:

    iMean iLovee the wayy he died lol fail*<3':D

  11. Rain says:

    His Death Inspires Me

  12. Stefanie says:

    He died a happy man <3

  13. missmelody says:

    I can’t help but be offended that they made Jesus look fat D: did this bug anyone else??

  14. sierra says:

    he was a great artist i love how ge expresses the period of angels and jesus.

  15. walter says:

    this mans a legend he died while having sex

  16. fernando says:

    I wanna be like him wen I grow up

  17. ylamay says:

    im doing a project on him to he is sooooooooo cooool

  18. rissa says:

    i want to be like him wen i grow up

  19. stacey says:

    he was a legend.He was the professional artist that ever lived.But sorry for his Death

  20. stacey says:

    Raphael was the legend.He was a famous painter that ever lived….

  21. raphael says:

    yes i am named after this dude. I’ve always looked up to him until i read about his death.

  22. gracie says:

    im glad that so many people care about dead people

  23. Stacey says:

    Guys, grow up! He died because he was given the wrong cure to a fever! So what if sex caused it?! You guys sound like a bunch of 10 year olds (Which you probably are!!!)! Seriously, get a life and stop acting like little boys!

    • victoria williams says:

      go girl and for real yall are childish wow he died because he had sex. CHILDISH!!! *guys)
      anyways love this website.

  24. *krazibitch* says:

    I think the way he died is the way to go..if your guna die why not go pleasing yourself!! RIght on man..

  25. heather says:

    it is so sad to see all the good artist dyingn at an nearly nage and thats not good. my unclewas a great artist and uncle but he died in a bad car accident

  26. destin says:

    You guys are awesome and Johny you suck and you can shove hat up you big butt. But sieously im only 12 and I m doing a project on him and it really cool.

  27. Hannah says:

    I can’t put how he died on my research report, even though my teacher would want me to…. DANG!

  28. ninja says:

    Thts cool he died on his birthday lol

  29. chris says:

    why critisize its’ just a painting that requied skill which you obliviosly don’t have and will never get…

  30. bobbiejoe says:

    this guy is awesome!!!!

  31. Isaac Luk says:

    I’m very happy of Repheal of his good work he did when he was still in the world,he encouraged people of work with their hands like said by Paul in the Bible

  32. Sami says:

    my favorite painting of his is the lady and the unicorn. its so cool!! love himm♥

  33. Raphael says:

    hes awsome

  34. anthony o says:

    raphael was the man, he did some great works of art major props

  35. jerrod som says:

    lol thre way he died isthe best but i thought he was awesome

  36. jerrod som says:

    i want to go out the way he did lol XD

  37. David says:

    The triumph of Galatea painting does not depict the cyclops polyphemus fleeing, please guys double check these things with what’s elsewhere before taking it as gospel.

  38. didi says:

    the information is so cool cut the way he died is weird :D xD

  39. Kathlenne Collins says:

    I think that Raphael is a very outstandsing painter who knew how to capture the details that people even couldnt really see and that he could paint with emotion no matter the situation. Also that he could capture the emotion that is going on in the room that everyone is feeling! i give much appericated props to Raphael Sanzio da Urbino!

  40. unknown says:

    ommggg what is this

  41. Diana Park says:

    have a raphael project…
    wont tell the whole death… -_-

  42. kyla springer says:

    This website has been a trememdous help with my school research project! I appreciate your hard work!!

  43. That is a sad way to die. And I really like this site because I have to write a paper on an artist od the Italian renissanece I suck at it.

  44. LaQuifa Johnson says:

    I am soooooo freakin’ offended that this “guy” had the audacity to make my dear Lord Jesus, God and Savior look like an obese, old fat and hairy rhino. I mean oh my God! may the lord have mercy on you “Mr. Raphael”

  45. DatGUy says:

    Raphael, or Raffaello Sanzio, was born on April 6, 1483 in Urbino, Italy. He was a painter and architect during the High Renaissance. Unlike the other Masters at the time, he was enormously productive, running a workshop that encompassed 50 pupils and assistants. Much of his works remain, since they were done mainly within the Vatican. His works are are commonly organized into three phases: his early career, which conveyed the influence of his teacher, the Florentine period, when Raphael went to the city for four years, and his last years when his best work was produced.

    Raphael’s family was a very artistic family. His dad was court painter to the Duke of Urbino, Federico Il da Montefeltro, and he helped his dad paint some of the pieces. Growing up and around the court gave Raphael excellent manners and social skills, which other artists like Michelangelo lacked. His mom died when he was eight. His dad remarried, but then died four years later. Orphaned, Raphael lived with his uncle Bartolomeo, a priest. Since he had helped his father with the court art, he showed much talent while living with his uncle. There is a self portrait which exists, made when he was about 15 or 16; it the earliest known example of his work.

    He started an apprenticeship with Umbrian master Pietro Perugino. By 1501, he was fully trained and considered a Master himself. His style though, is very hard to tell apart from his teacher. They have stylistic and technique similarities like thickly applied paint, and they both use a varnish which causes the finished piece paint to crack.

    His first work by himself is the Baronci Altarpiece for the Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentino about 1502. He visited Sienna with another Perugino assistant, Pinturcchio. They did a fresco series together in the Piccolomini Library and Sienna Cathedral. After that, he traveled to Florentine, from 1504-1508. He quickly absorbed Michelangelo’s work, and thought it was very inspiring. Michelangelo hated Raphael though, and thought that he was making conspiracies against him. For some reason, when Raphael was in Florentine, he was obsessed with drawing naked, fighting men. But nothing ever came out of it; just a lot of drawings.

    In 1508, he went to Rome, and lived there the rest on his life. In 1510, he was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the Pope’s personal library. There is four frescoes altogether: philosophy, law, poetry, and theology. The most well known is The School of Athens, which represents Philosophy. Many well-known people are portrayed, including Michelangelo. In the center is Plato and Aristotle, Athena is on the right, Michelangelo is the brooding, crouching figure in the front. This work portrays that the Renaissance is the new classical age. Pope Julius II died in 1513, but that didn’t stop the works from being completed.

    The next Pope, Medici Pope Leo X, became really good friends with Raphael, and gave him even more commissions. Also, because he was friends with the architect Bramante, he got a sneak peak at the Sistine Chapel, and was awestruck by the beauty of it.

    In 1513, he painted Galatea, which is based off mythology. It shows the Cyclops Polythemus fleeing. The painting incorporates Da Vinci’s triangular composition, which demonstrates Raphael being influenced by other artists. Two years later, he finished another significant painting, The Sacrifice at Lystra. This work displays two men, Paul and Barnabus, journeying to preach the word of God. They end up in this town, and the town folk believe they are Gods because they heal a crippled man, when they really aren’t.

    Raphael was an accomplished architect as well as painter. Since he was Pope Leo X best friend, he was given the commission to design St. Peter’s Cathedral, but it was never carried out. If it had been, there would be columns all the way down the nave, which would have made it considerably darker and bulkier than the design now. He did some villas as well, but only one of them still exists.

    During his lifetime, he was made Groom of the Chamber, which means he just waits by the Pope to help him, or in Raphael’s case, you’re the Pope’s best friend. He was also a knight of the Papal Order of the Golden Spur, which meant you have contributed to the glory of the Catholic Church. Both things basically accumulate to an increase in income.

    Raphael was supposed to marry Maria Bibbizena, his fiancée, but he never did. It is speculated that he was thinking about becoming a Cardinal, and if you’re with the Church, you can’t be married. Another possible reason is he never really loved her. He had a mistress as well, whom he nick named “La Fornarina” but her real name was Margherita Luti. Maria actually died only a month or two before Raphael himself.

    The last painting Raphael did was The Transfiguration in 1520. He died April 6, 1520. His death was caused by a long night of excessive sex with his mistress, and he fell into a fever. He was given the wrong cure by his doctors, and he died. He was 37 years old. Raphael’s funeral was extremely grand, and he is interred at the Pantheon. On his sarcophagus, it says, “Here lies that famous Raphael by whom nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die.” Post-mortem, Vassari wrote a biography for Raphael, and said that he was, “So gentle and charitable that even the animals loved him.”

  46. Shay says:

    Hey i believe in dreams keep going you’ll reach it someday. No matter how old

  47. Sam says:

    All of you guys suck at ENGLISH! Learn how to write!

  48. Austin says:

    I love this website! I had a F in art class so i did an extra credit report and i used this website and i wrote a 3 page report and it brought my grade to a A-.

  49. Lauren says:

    Wow, this is really a nice, helpful site!!!!!

  50. Lizzie says:

    This was so helpful. Thank you so much. also… looks like it was birthday sex that killed him. oh Raffaello…

  51. Ke'Shonde says:

    I choose him to the the Artist of the month, he is an amazing painter. And birthday? Lol I think not. My birthday was a couple days ago how did you know. Just kidding, but it was March, 19th and I’m 19.

  52. Ke'Shonde says:

    FYI-That’s Jesus Christ being carried by all them people, not Rapheal.

  53. andrew says:

    this site is cool

  54. well that death will not be mentioned in my report. a little weird. i mean dude,talk a bout self control issues.

  55. Kyrhiannon says:

    Ahah, that death will DEFINITELY be going into my report. My senior english teacher will get a kick out of it.
    As an artist, I always found Raphael inspiring, and have pulled a lot of methods from his work. Really cool dude.

  56. Dev says:

    Raphael was a great artist and still remains well known today, the fact that art can live on while the creator does not is inspiring.

  57. Gartic Umar says:

    Hello im Gartic Umar and I like art.

  58. Darren says:

    I think he is a great artist !

  59. Zac says:

    I can’t belive he died of sex.

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