Raphael (Raffaelle Sanzio, Or Sanzio of Urdino), an Italian painter, born in Urbino, April 6, 1483, died in Rome, April 6, 1520. He belonged to a family of artists, and his father, Giovanni Santi (whose life has been written by Count Pompeo Gherardi, 1875), was his first instructor. At the age of 12 he was placed in the school of Perugino, and remained with him until near his 20th year, assisting him, but attempting nothing which can be authenticated as his own until about 1500. After leaving the school of Perugino, he worked for about a year in Perugia, producing the "Marriage of the Virgin," now in the Brera at Milan, and well known by Longhi's engraving; "The Knight's Dream," now in the British national gallery; the "Agony in the Garden," and "St. Michael and St. George," all executed in what is known as his first or Peruginesque manner. In 1504 Raphael visited Florence for the first time. The compositions by Leonardo da Vinci and Michel Angelo, known as the "Battle for the Standard" and the "Cartoon of Pisa," had recently been opened to public inspection, and to their influence may be attributed the new era which thenceforth commences in his development.
He returned in the same year to Perugia, and for several months was employed in painting altarpieces, after which he revisited Florence, where he remained until the middle of 1508. During this period he painted about 30 pictures, the latest essentially after the style of the Florentines, and particularly of Leonardo da Vinci. Preeminent among them were those testifying his devotion for the Virgin, to whom in after life he dedicated a chapel in Rome. "The mere collection of all the Virgins painted or even designed by Raphael," says Quatremère de Quin-cy, "and the detail of the variations which he introduced into his compositions, would form an abridged history of his genius." The Madonna del granduca, now in the Pitti palace, painted either during his first visit to Florence or in the early part of his longer sojourn there, represents the highest perfection of which Perugino's type was capable. Immediately succeeding this in date were the "Madonna of the Palm Tree," now in the Elles-mere collection; the Madonna del cardellino (of the goldfinch), in the Florentine gallery, so called because the little St. John is presenting a goldfinch to the infant Christ; and the picture in the Louvre known as La belle jardiniere, in which the Madonna is sitting with the two children in the midst of a beautiful landscape.
To this Florentine period belong also the "St. Catharine" in the British national gallery, the two little "St. Georges" in St. Petersburg and the Louvre, the "Entombment" in the Borghese gallery, and the well known portrait of himself in the Ufiizi at Florence. The production of works like these made Raphael's name famous over all. Italy, and Pope Julius II. invited him to complete the frescoes of those halls of the Vatican which had been left unfinished by Nicholas V. and Pius II. In the middle of the year 1508 Raphael arrived at the papal court, and began that grand series of works which develop his third or Roman manner. His frescoes, cover ing the ceilings and walls of three chambers or camere and a large saloon, known collectively as the "Stanze of Raphael," were intended to glorify the power of the church, and to represent Rome as the centre of spiritual culture. The first saloon, called the camera delta segna-tura, he dedicated to representations of theology, poetry, philosophy, and jurisprudence, each of which is personified by an allegorical figure on the ceiling, while beneath, on the four sides of the apartment, are painted the principal subjects. "Theology," sometimes called the "Dispute of the Sacrament," consists of an assemblage of doctors and dignitaries of the church seated in council, above whom is represented, in the symmetrical and conventional manner of the early painters, a heavenly glory, with Christ throned on clouds and presiding over a host of patriarchs, saints, and angels.
This, the first work executed by Raphael in Rome, is also the last of his large compositions which contains traces of his early religious, Peruginesque manner. The influence of the antique, which he here first felt in its fulness, the proximity of Michel Angelo, who was then painting his sublime frescoes in the Sistine chapel, and the importance and grandeur of the subjects upon which he was engaged, gave a new impulse to his genius, and he reached almost at a single step the limit of his style. His next work in point of date, "Poetry" or "Parnassus," representing an assembly of Greek, Roman, and Italian poets on Mount Parnassus, with Apollo and the Muses in the centre, marks perhaps the transition period; but in "Philosophy" or the " School of Athens," which followed, the Roman style is matured. The composition represents a grand hall or portico, in which are characteristically grouped the great philosophers and sages of antiquity. The remaining fresco in this stanza, "Jurisprudence," owing to the peculiar construction of the wall, is divided into three compositions, Gregory delivering the ecclesiastical law, and Justinian promulgating his code of civil law, above which are female personifications of prudence, fortitude, and temperance.
These frescoes were finished in 1511, and appear to have been immediately succeeded by those in the stanza of Heliodorus, so called from the story of the expulsion of Heliodorus from the temple, as related in the second book of Maccabees, which is painted on one of its walls. In this composition the group of Heliodorus and the pursuing angels is especially noticeable for its supernatural power. The "Mass at Bol-sena," "Attila terrified by a Celestial Vision," and "St. Peter delivered from Prison" occupy the remaining walls of this stanza; and on the ceiling are representations of the promises of God to the four patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. Julius II. died during the progress of the work, but his successor, Leo X., directed its completion, as also that of the other works in the Vatican on which Raphael was engaged, besides intrusting him with new ones.
Before this time, however, commissions multiplied so greatly upon the painter's hands, that he was obliged to commit to the best of the numerous scholars who now resorted to him from all parts of Italy the execution of portions of the frescoes in the remaining stanze from his cartoons and designs. In this manner was painted the stanza dell' incendio, which takes its name from the principal subject illustrated, the "Fire in the Borgo," and in which are represented the prominent events in the lives of Popes Leo III. and IV. The frescoes in the sala di Constantino, the last of the series, were executed after his death under the direction of Giulio Romano, his most eminent pupil. They all suffered from neglect after the removal of the popes to the Quirinal palace, and were cleaned and in some instances restored by Carlo Maratti in the 18th century. "While engaged on these works Raphael executed in fresco for Agostino Chigi, a banker of Rome, the four grand figures of the Sibyls in the Chigi chapel of Santa Maria della Pace, and the well known "Triumph of Galatea," besides many Madonnas and other easel pictures.
His fortune kept pace with his celebrity, and he lived in princely magnificence, admired and beloved by all contemporary artists, excepting Michel Angelo, who ill endured the fame of his young rival. During the progress of the later works in the stanze Leo X. employed Raphael on the decoration of the toggle, or open galleries round three sides of the court of St. Damasus (the older portion of the Vatican), and the designs for the tapestries of the Sis-tine chapel. For the toggle he furnished a series of designs from the Old Testament, known as "Raphael's Bible," which were executed in 13 small cupolas on the gallery on the second story by Giulio Romano, Francesco Penni, Pellegrino da Modena, Perino del Vaga, and others of his pupils. A variety of beautiful arabesque ornaments and stuccoes in the same gallery were executed from his designs by Giovanni da Udine. The cartoons for tapestries, prepared probably between 1513 and 1516, represent the highest efforts of Raphael's genius in historical composition. They are from 14 to 18 ft. long by 12 high, and are colored in distemper.
The subjects are "The Death of Ananias," "Elymas the Sorcerer struck with Blindness," "The Healing of the Lame Man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple," "The Miraculous Draught of Fishes," "Paul and Barnabas at Lystra," "Paul preaching at Athens," and "The Charge to Peter." These cartoons, at the suggestion of Rubens, were purchased by Charles I. of England, and are now deposited in the South Kensington museum. The remaining cartoons of the series, representing "The Stoning of Stephen," "The Conversion of St. Paul," and "Paul in the Prison of Philippi," are lost. The original tapestries, for which the pope paid the manufacturers in Arras 50,000 gold ducats, after various mutations of fortune, are now in the Vatican, but are so injured and faded that the general effect of the coloring is destroyed. Raphael also furnished the designs, but not the cartoons, for a second series of ten tapestries which are now in the Vatican. Amid these great undertakings he did not neglect the subjects which had first inspired his pencil, and the numerous Madonnas and holy families produced during his residence in Rome include some of the most characteristic and admirable of his works.
Distinguished among them is the wonderful Madonna di San Sisto (painted between 1517 and 1520) in the Dresden gallery, representing the Virgin standing in a majestic attitude with the child in her arms. It is said to have been painted at once on the canvas, without any preliminary study, and has been engraved in a style not unworthy of the original by Friedrich Müller. Other celebrated Madonnas of this period are the Al-dobrandini Madonna, in the possession of Lord Garvagh, that known as the Bridgewater, the Vierge au diadème in the Louvre, the lovely Madonna della sedia or seggiola in the Pitti palace, the Madonna di Foligno in the Vatican, that called the "Pearl" at Madrid, and the Madonna del pesce in the Escurial, the two last mentioned being altarpieces with saints assembled around the Virgin. Of several of these duplicates exist, and all of them have been repeatedly engraved. Among his remaining easel pictures are the St. Cecilia, now in Bologna; the "Archangel Michael overcoming the Devil," in the Louvre; "Christ bearing the Cross," known as Lo spasimo di Sicilia, in Madrid; and his last, and by many considered his grandest work, the "Transfiguration," in the Vatican, painted in competition with Sebastian del Piombo's "Raising of Lazarus," of which Michel Angelo is said to have furnished the design.
He executed upward of 80 portraits, the most famous being those of Julius II. and Leo X., the originals of both of which are in Florence, Cardinals Bibbiena, Bembo, de' Medici, and de' Rossi, Joanna of Aragon, and the "Fornarina," which was long supposed to represent one of his mistresses, but which Passavant considers to be the portrait of a celebrated improvisatrice named Beatrice Pio. The last named picture is in the Barberini palace in Rome. To this list of works must be added the fresco of "Cupid and Psyche" in the villa Farnesina, and numerous drawings in chalk, from which the engraver, Marc' Antonio Rai-mondi, executed several of his finest plates. Raphael also directed the construction of St. Peter's from his own plans subsequent to the death of Bramante in 1514, besides executing several other architectural works; and he made at least one statue in marble, besides designing others. He died of a fever caught in superintending some subterranean excavations, and was buried in the Pantheon, near the remains of Maria di Bibbiena, niece of the cardinal of that name, to whom he had been betrothed. Through some doubt as to the place of his sepulture, his remains were exhumed in September, 1833, and on Oct. 18 reinterred with great ceremony.
Of his private character Mrs. Jameson says: "There was a vulgar idea at one time prevalent that Raphael was a man of vicious and depraved habits, and even died a victim to his excesses; this slander has been silenced for ever by indisputable evidence to the contrary, and we may now reflect with pleasure that nothing rests on surer evidence than the admirable qualities of Raphael; that no earthly renown was ever so unsullied by reproach, so justified by merit, so confirmed by concurrent opinion, so established by time." - His life has been written by Quatremère de Quincy (Paris, 1824); by Passavant (3 vols., Leipsic, 1839-58); by Baron von Wollzogen (1865; English translation by F. E. Bunnett, London, 1866); and more briefly by Mrs. Jameson in her "Memoirs of the early Italian Painters." See also Kugler's "Handbook of Italian Schools." The house at Urbino where Raphael was born was purchased in 1874 for 22,000 francs by the Raffaello academy, and is to be restored and used as a museum.