Artist. Considered one of the greatest and most popular painters of all time, he was born Raffaello Santi or Raffaello Sanzio in Urbino, Italy. His early training in art come from his father, the painter Giovanni Santi. In 1499 he went to Perugia and became a student and assistant of the painter Pietro Perugino. Raphael imitated his master closely and their paintings of this period are executed in styles so similar that art historians have found it difficult to determine which were painted by Raphael. In 1504 Raphael moved to Florence, where he studied the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Fra Bartolommeo. His development during his Florentine period can best be traced in his numerous Madonnas. Raphael's most important commissions during his stay in Florence came from Umbria. His most original composition of this period is the “Entombment of Christ”. In 1508 he was called to Rome by Pope Julius II and commissioned to execute frescoes in four small rooms, of the Vatican Palace. After the death of Pope Julius II in 1513, and the accession of Pope Leo X, Raphael's influence and responsibilities increased. He was made chief architect of Saint Peter's Basilica in 1514, and a year later was appointed director of all the excavations of antiquities in and near Rome. During this period he also designed ten tapestries illustrating the acts of Christ's apostles for the Sistine Chapel. In addition to these major undertakings, he executed a number of easel paintings, including a portrait of Pope Julius II, a series of Madonnas, and the world-famous Sistine Madonna. Other religious paintings during this period include the “Transfiguration”, which was completed posthumously by the most notable of Raphael's many followers, Giulio Romano. Raphael died in Rome on his 37th birthday, April 6, 1520.
Bio by: Jelena