RAPHAEL-His full name was Raffaello Sanzio and he was born in 1483 in Urbino, Italy. Raphael lived during the High Renaissance, a period known for the rebirth of great ideas and exciting developments in art.

Raphael's father was a court painter and a poet that introduced him to philosophy and painting. But by the time Raphael was twelve years old, both of his parents had died. As a boy he worked for a while in the studios of the artist Perugino.

At the age of twenty-one, Raphael arrived in the city of Florence, Italy. He was exposed to the work of Leanardo da Vinci and the forceful figures of the sculptor and painter, Michelangelo. Raphael soon began a series of Madonna's showing both divine and tender human qualities.

When Pope Julius II heard of the brilliant work of this country youth, the Pope sent for Raphael to do some special work in the city of Rome. Raphael painted many frescoes (painting done on wet plaster) for the Pope. He also decorated rooms in the Vatican, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The enormous works were filled with religious and historical scenes.

In 1514 Raphael became the chief architect for the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and the next year he was named guardian of the ancient ruins of Rome.

He designed ten tapestries for the Sistine Chapel. Although he had assistants, the Artist pushed himself, worked too hard and died very suddenly when he was only thirty seven years old. He was one of the most celebrated and revered Artist of the Italian Renaissance.


TWO ANGELS (DETAILED FROM "THE SISTINE MADONNA") - These are very popular angels, often seen on posters or greeting cards. They are part of a bigger painting called "The Sistine Madonna" that is in the Vatican. In the original painting they are below the Madonna, beneath the clouds as though they were just observing, waiting for something to happen. The angel's faces have soft, gently modeled features with calm, somehow relaxed expressions and they add balance to the rest of the painting. Raphael used soft shading of dark and light color to show us the round fullness of their bodies. Once again demonstrating his masterful technique of showing kind expressions. 


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