Greatest painter of the Renaissance, and normally just called Raphael. The pupil of Perugino, he produced, in 1504, one of his earliest successes, The Espousal of the Virgin. Going to Florence soon after, for a stay of four years, his art broadened under the influence of Leonardo da Vinci and Fra Bartolommeo. Three well-known canvases of this period are the Gran’ Duca Madonna, of the Pitti gallery, La Belle Jardiniere, of the Louvre, and the Madonna Ansidei, of the National Gallery. In 1508 he was called to Rome by Pope Julius II and rapidly became the leader of a whole group of artists who assisted him in executing innumerable commissions. His decoration of the Stanze, or rooms, of the Vatican include the frescoes of the Disputa, the School of Athens, and Parnassus, in one room, and the Expulsion of Heliodorus, The Mass of Bolsena, and The Deliverance of Saint Peter, in another. Among favorite Madonnas are the Madonna di Foligno, the Madonna of the Chair, now in the Pitti Gallery, and the supremely beautiful Sistine Madonna, painted for the monks of San Sisto in Piacenza, but now in the Dresden Gallery. The artist‘s premature death came while he was working on the Transfiguration, a treasure of the Vatican. His skill in portraiture is evident in the portraits of Pope Julius II in the Uffizi, and Pope Leo X in the Pitti.
Images available on this site of works by Raphael include