RAPHAEL

Fresco-Painting Canvases Architecture

Raffaello Sanzio (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520, was painter and architect celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the golden triad of the Renaissance. Raphael’s productivity, was large and prolific; assisted by four talented artists like Giulio Romano, Giovanni da Udine, Gianfrancesco Penni and Perin del Vaga, their cooperation goes under the name of Raphael’s school. A large part of his personal works are in the Vatican, in the apartments of Pope Julius II where the fresco of the “School of Athens” represents the central work of his career.

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Masterworks

Raphael’s Rooms
By the end of 1508 Raphael was commissioned by Julius II to fresco what was intended to become the Pope’s private library at the Vatican Palace. This first of the famous “Stanze” to be painted, now always known as the Stanza della Segnatura, was to make a stunning impact on Roman art, and remains generally regarded as his greatest masterpiece, containing The School of Athens, The Parnassus and the Disputa.

The Entombment
It is the central panel of a larger altarpiece commissioned by Atalanta Baglioni of Perugia in honor of her of fallen son, Grifonetto Baglioni. Signed and dated Raphael Urbinas MDVII (1507), the painting is in the Galleria Borghese.

The Triumph of Galatea
The Triumph of Galatea is a fresco masterpiece completed in 1512 in the Villa of the senese banker Agostino Chigi: The Farnesina. In Greek mythology, the beautiful Nereid Galatea had fallen in love with the peasant shepherd Acis. Her consort, one-eyed giant, Polyphemus, after chancing upon the two lovers together, lobbed an enormous pillar and killed Acis.

The Transfiguration
The Transfiguration was created in 1516 and is another high end altarpiece. It was commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de Medici who was made arch bishop of Narbon and became Pope Clement VII. At the time when Raphael was commissioned to paint the Transfiguration he was still doing the other commissions, the Stanze and the cartoons of the life of St Peter, three palaces and a villa.

Woman with Unicorn
Is an oil on panel finished around 1506. Although the exact meaning of the symoblism in the painting is uncertain, it has been suggested that the unicorn could represent Christ, as it does in medieval iconography,or even be a male erotic symbol. It is in the Galleria Borghese in Rome.

The Chigi Chapel
The Chigi Chapel is one of six chapels in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo. Raphael gave the chapel a centralized octagonal plan, under a dome decorated with mosaics to his cartoon (1516), representing the Creation of the World surrounded by the sun and the seven classical planets, each moved by an angel; it is a rare example of mosaic executed to a high Renaissance design.

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