RAPHAEL ( 1483-1520) AN OUTSTANDING RENAISSANCE PAINTER WHO FOR MOST OF HIS LIFE WAS EMPLOYED BY SUCCESSIVE POPES IN THE VATICAN. WITHOUT THE INFLUENCE OF MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI AND LEONARDO DA VINCI HIS ART WOULD HAVE BEEN COMPLETELY DIFFERENT:PART 2

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In the second part of my discussion on Raphael I am continuing with the commentary of Linda Murray in her book The High renaissance and Mannerism.

” Raphael’s most celebrated Madonna is undoubtedly  the Sistine Madonna. This famous picture has suffered so badly from its fame that it is now impossible to see it with a mind uncontaminated by the distortions of pietistic imagery”. [1].

In a another Book on the renaissance Linda Murray wrote  in conjunction with her husband Peter they comment on Raphael’s beginnings and influences on his early life.

” Raphael’s development is clear. He was born in Urbino and received provincial training mainly under Perugino”. [2].

” Very soon after this he went to Florence realised the deficiencies of his provincial schooling and set himself to study Leonardo and Michelangelo”. [3].

Commenting on his Madonna Pictures the Murray’s make this comment. ”  The portrait of Maddalena Doni owes almost everything to Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. The Madonna with the goldfinch is one of a series of compositions all of which are exercises based on Leonardo’s cartoons of the Madonna and child with stanne” .[4].

the-madonna-and-child-with-st-john-the-baptist-and-st-nicholas-of-bari-1505_jpg!Blog

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” Raphael whose art was indebted to Michelangelo and Leonardo, went to Rome in 1508 and there he received the great commission  that gave him the chance to develop his genius to its fullest extent”. [5].

As Michael Levy shows in his wide ranging survey of western art From Giorgio to Cezanne Raphael concentrated most of his work in homage to the Vatican working for successive Popes.

” The rest of Raphael’s  short life was spent in activity and fame organising a large studio and creating on the walls of the Vatican frescos like the School of Athens”. [6].

” The Sistine chapel and Raphael’s first Vatican frescos were painted in that Brief period of apparent prosperity before the reformation and the sack of Rome”.[7].

Levy comments on Raphael’s attention to detail and shows that Raphael a brilliant copyist was able to depict  the iconography   to get the right result.

“In his Madonna’s Raphael can move from the intimate conception of a family group like the Madonna della sedia where so many soft curves are fitted finally into the curved picture space where the combination of grandeur and humanity is unique”. [8].

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This concludes my discussion of Raphael who stood between Da Vinci and Buonarroti and the great monumental classicist Titian who I will be discussing in my next posting.

FOOTNOTES

  1. THE HIGH RENAISSANCE AND MANNERISM LINDA MURRAY PG.60
  2. THE ART OF THE RENAISSANCE PETER AND LINDA MURRAY PG. 268
  3. DITTO PG.269
  4. DITTO PG.269
  5. DITTO PG.272
  6. FROM GIORGIO TO CEZANNE MICHAEL LEVY PG. 112
  7. DITTO PG.112
  8. DITTO PG 112

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