Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino or simply known as Raphael was born in 1483 and died in 1520 at the age of 37 years old. He is a master painter and architect of the High Renaissance and was well known as Leonardo Di Vinci’s equal. His work shows clarity of form and ease of composition and is known for its visual achievement of the Neo-Platonism (school of mystical philosophy, 3rd century, based on Plato) ideal of human grandeur. He is one artist in the Trinity of great Masters of Renaissance composed of Michelangelo, Di Vinci and himself. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, and are the largest works of his career. His short career begins in Umbria, he spends some time in Florence, then his last triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes, Julius II and Leo X.
Raphael was born in the small, city of Urbino, his father Giovanni Santi was the court painter to the Duke. Raphael mixed easily in the high social circles throughout his life; though he did not receive a full humanistic education. His mother died when Raphael was eight, followed three years later by his father and so he was orphaned at eleven. His father had Raphael apprentice with Master Pietro Perugino and the influence of Perigino in Raphael’s early work is extremely clear. Raphael is described as a “master”, that is to say fully trained, in 1501, at age eighteen. His first documented work was for an altar piece for a church, in the following years he painted many works for many churches. He accepted an invitation to help with designs for a fresco series in the Siena Cathedral. He was already much in demand even this early in his career. Raphael spent a good deal of time in Florence. While there, he was influenced by Di Vinci and there was a change in this painting. He started using more complex positions like the three-quarter length composition. He spent the rest of his life in Rome from 1508 to 1520. Raphael was commissioned by Pope Julius II to fresco the private library at the Vatican Palace. This was the larger and most important commission than he had ever received; he had only painted one altarpiece in Florence. Raphael already has shown his gift for absorbing influenced into his own personal style, was clearly influenced by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. One of the first exampled of rising to the challenge of Michelangelo’s force and grandeur was the portrait in The School of Athens of Michelangelo himself. Michelangelo accused Raphael of plagiarism and claimed that Raphael got everything he knew about art from him.
He was extremely influential in his short lifetime and even after his death, Raphael’s serene and harmonious qualities are regarded as high models of the