Raphael: A Renaissance Artist

By John Dimos

Raphael: Biographical Overview

  • Raphael was born in Urbino, Italy on April 6th, 1483 and died April 6th, 1520 in Rome, Italy.
  • During his early years (1483-1503), he lived in Urbino, Italy and was already being taught art. During Raphael's Florentine Period (1504-1508), Raphael traveled to Florence, Italy where he studied different Florentine art styles. In his late years (1508-1520), he worked for two popes in Rome.
  • He received a lot of training in the arts, starting at a young age. During his early years, his father taught him a little bit of art, and he started showing his skill during his teen years. He was then mentored by a professional with the name of Perugino to absorb the 15th-century classicism of Piero della Francesca. He also taught himself some art styles. For example, he learned Florentine styles on his trip to Florence, Italy.
  • Raphael lived a nomadic lifestyle - he would travel around to places to learn more art styles.
  • Raphael was never married, but was engaged and even had a mistress.
  • He spent his last 12 years working for the pope in Rome.
  • Raphael created many famous frescoes, drawings, paintings, and even designed some buildings. A few of his famous pieces can be seen in the gallery below.
  • Two of Raphael's main patrons were Pope Julius II and Pope Leo X.

The Work: The School of Athens

  • The School of Athens
  • This piece was created between 1510 and 1512
  • The original piece can be found painted on a wall of the Stanzi di Raffaello in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.
  • A copy of this piece on a rectangular canvas can be found at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
  • Replicas of this fresco can be found at the University of Virginia, Konigsberg's Cathedral, Kaliningrad, and the University of North Carolina.
  • A small piece of the picture was used as the cover art for Use Your Illusion I and II albums of Guns N' Roses.
  • This is the piece where Raphael reaches complete, independent artistic maturity. It also shows his developing Florentine style.
  • The challenge that Raphael remarkably overcame was scaling his artwork to fit onto the large wall.
  • I find this piece so interesting because it was probably Raphael's most famous piece and depicts both classicism and mannerism in a very detailed fresco. The way that he successfully scaled the piece also impresses me.
  • Both Raphael and his piece, The School of Athens, exemplify humanism well. Raphael was taught a few humanist concepts by his mentor, Perugino. His piece, which depicts all of Greece's most famous philosophers, is also a good representation of humanism. The characters it focuses on all study philosophy, poetry, theology, and law - the basic ideas of humans.

Works Cited

"Raphael." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context.

Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

"Raphael." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

"The School of Athens." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Nov.


Creator : Raphael
Title : Saint George and the Dragon
Date : c. 1504
Repository : Musée du Louvre
ARTstor : LESSING_ART_10310119688
URL : http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=%2FThWdC8hIywtPygxFTx5RngoX3Ekc10%3D

Creator : Raphael, 1483 - 1520
Title : Portrait of Pope Julius II
Date : 1511
Repository : The National Gallery, London
Repository : Bought, 1824
ARTstor : ANGLIG_10313766687
URL : http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8D5JfzAoMloyLyw4fzx6RHcm

Creator : Raphael, 1483 - 1520
Title : The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary, Saints and Angels (The Mond Crucifixion)
Date : about 1502-3
Repository : The National Gallery, London
Repository : Mond Bequest, 1924
ARTstor : ANGLIG_10313766688
URL : http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=8D5JfzAoMloyLyw4fzx6RHcp

Creator : Raphael
Title : School of Athens
Date : circa 1510-1512
ARTstor : LESSING_ART_1039490532
URL : http://library.artstor.org/library/secure/ViewImages?id=%2FThWdC8hIywtPygxFTx5TnQkVnwtfA%3D%3D