Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520),
better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High
Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and
drawings. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the
traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop, and
despite his death at thirty-seven, a large body of his work remains.
Many of his works are found in the Apostolic Palace of The Vatican, where the
frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career.
The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della
Segnatura. After his early years in Rome, much of his work was designed by him
and executed largely by the workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss
He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was
mostly known from his collaborative printmaking. After his death, the influence
of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th
centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again
regarded as the highest models.
His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described
by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years
(from 1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his
last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their
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