Art Talk: Raphael

in #arttalklast year

Today's artist highlight from the Italian Renaissance is Raphael Sanzio da Urbino.

School of Athens, 1509/1511

In my previous post Art Talk: NGA Italian Renaissance Tour there were many great artist and paintings showcases from the Italian Renaissance at the National Gallery of Art in Washingon, DC. I would like to discuss more of the life and work of Raphael.

Let's start with the School of Athens and this look at Raphael as he is looking out at the viewer in this fresco in the Vatican in Rome, Italy.


Raphael is indicated with the R on the far right of the painting. Leonardo da Vinci is #14 as Plato as he walks through the center of the fresco with Aristotle and #13 is Michelangelo as Heraclticus.

Quick Facts

Born: March 28, or April 6, 1483 in Urbinio
Died: April 6, 1520 in Rome at the age of 37

He was orphaned in 1494 at the age of 11.
He is known for his wit and charm.
He is buried in the Pantheon.

Time in Florence 1504-1508

Raphael spent four years in Florence
During this time he painted Madonna and Child paintings that are in the National Gallery of Art in DC. The Niccolini-Cowper Madonna (1508) and The Small Cowper Madonna (1505).

If you will remember from the tour the other Madonna and Child figures. Here Raphael is bringing a depth to their bodies, the composition and color. My favorite is the interaction of the Christ child with His mother. Instead of Christ portrayed as a little man He is a baby grabbing for his mother.

Years in Rome 1508-1520

Raphael was called to Rome by the new pope, Julius II. This past summer I was able to travel to Italy with my younger brother @jarvie and sister.

We did a tour of the Vatican the frescos in the four "Raphael Rooms"are stunning.

Room of the Segnatura

The highlight in this room is the School of Athens

Close up of School of Athens, 1509/1511

Room of Heliodorus

Deliverance of St. Peter, 1514

Room of the Fire in the Borgo

Fire in the Borgo, 1514

Hall of Constantine
I do not have any pictures from this room, The style is so different from the other rooms that I didn't realize that Rapheal had painted them also.

The Ceilings
The ceilings in the Vatican are stunning and Raphel's are no exception. For more on the celings in the Vatican see my post Art Talk: Ceilings in the Vatican

Close up of the ceiling of the Room of the Segnatura

This beautiful tondo was also painted during Raphael's Rome years and is now on display at the National Gallery of Art in DC.

The Alba Madonna, 1510

The Madonna is not on a throne instead out in a field and sitting on the ground. The addition of Jesus cousin John the Baptist who is handing Christ a cross is different then most Madonna and Child paintings All three figures are looking at the cross, as if foreshadowing what is to come.

In his short life Raphael painted over 100 paintings. He was and still is one of the greatest painters of all time.

School of Athens
NGA Raphael

Art Talk Series Highlights

Art Talk: Recycled Plastic Art Movement
Art Talk: Gates of Paradise
Art Talk: NGA Italian Renaissance Tour


Raphael has ALWAYS been one of my favorites! I'm a huge fan, and some of these pieces are so impressive.

I wish we had more painters like this in the world today.

So glad you read this and enjoyed it. I agree, the Renaissance had some truly amazing artists!

The Renaissance is right up there with baroque/rococo as being one of my favorite periods of art and architecture.

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