- This page is about the artist. For other references to Raphael, see Raphael (disambiguation).
Raphael or Raffaello (6th April 1483 – 6th April 1520 - see note below), also called Raffaello Sanzio, Raffaello Santi, Raffaello da Urbino or Rafael Sanzio de Urbino, was a painter and architect of the Florentine school in the Italian High Renaissance.
Raphael is best known for his Madonnas and Holy families and for his large frescoes in the Vatican Palace. In 1509 indeed, he was called to Rome to decorate the Vatican Stanze (rooms), for Pope Julius II. The best known of these works are the School of Athens and the Disputation on the Blessed Sacrament, two large, arch-shaped frescoes, the first depicting the pagan philosophers of Antiquity grouped around Plato and Aristotle and the second depicting Christian theologians grouped under Jesus.
He died on his thirty-seventh birthday in Rome (reportedly just weeks before Leo was to invest him as a cardinal), deeply lamented by all who knew his value. His body lay for awhile in state in one of the rooms wherein he had displayed the powers of his mind, and he was honoured with a public funeral; his last produce, the transfiguration, being carried before him in the procession. The unrelenting hand of death (says his biographer) set a period to his labours, and deprived the world of further benefit from his talents, when he had only attained an age at which most other men are but beginning to be useful. "We see him in his cradle (said Fuseli); we hear him stammer; but propriety rocked the cradle, and character formed his lips."
He was interred in the Pantheon, the country's most honored place.
Dates of birth and death
Many sources give the date of Raphael's birth as Good Friday, 6th April 1483. In the year of 1483 the Julian Calendar was in use and Easter Sunday, according to the Julian calendar calculation, fell on 30th March. Therefore Good Friday occurred on 28th March. This is the actual date of Raphael's birth in the Julian calendar. In 1582 the Gregorian Calendar was introduced into Catholic Europe by Pope Gregory XIII. The Proleptic Gregorian Calendar is a backwards extension of this calendar and in 1483 the Proleptic Gregorian equivalent date of 28th March was 6th April. The Julian-Gregorian offset was nine days during the 15th century.
In the 16th century the Julian-Gregorian offset had increased to 10 days. Therefore the date of Raphael's death was 6th April 1520 in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. In the Julian calendar, which was being used at the time, the date was 27th March. Raphael died on the eve of his 37th birthday (Julian date).
External links and references
- Raffaello Sanzio Biography
- Webmuseum, Paris: Raphael
- Artsworld: Biography: Raffaello Sanzio Raphael
- Olga's Gallery: Raphael
- Artcyclopedia: Raphael
- Exhibition: Raphael: Art and Philosophy
- Parodies and misuses of Raphael's cherubs from the Sistine Madona