Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Raffaello Santi ( history of art )


the nymph Galatea
1512 - 1514

At the time when Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were competing with each other in Florence in 1504, a young painter arrived from the small city of Urbino, in the province of Umbria. His name was Raffaello Santi whom we know as Raphael ( 1483 - 1520 ), who like Michelangelo's master Ghirlandaio, and Leonardo's master Verocchio, Raphael's teacher Perugino, belonged to the generation of highly successful artists who needed a large staff of killed apprentices to help them carry out the many commissions they received.
Perugino was one of those masters whose sweet and devour manner in painting altarpieces commanded general respect.

The Virgin appearing
1490 - 1494

Some of his successful works, at any rate, show that he knew how to achieve a sense of depth without upsetting the balance of the design, and he had learned to handle Leonardo's sfumato , so as to avoid giving his figures a harsh and rigid appearance.

The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ

The figures are distributed to form a harmonious composition, and each of them moves with calm and ease.
He sacrificed the faithful portrayal of nature which the great masters of the quantrocento had driven for with such passionate devotion.
Taken singly, some of his best works give us a glimse into a world more serene and more harmonious than our own.

The Crucifixion with the Virgin and Saints

It was in this atmosfere that the young Raphael grew up, and he had soon mastered absorbed the manner of his teacher.
Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael were setting up new standards in art of which nobody have ever dreamed.
Other young artists might have become discouraged by the reputation of these giants.
Not so Raphael. He was determined to learn.
Moreover he could work, and work he would until he had caught up with the older masters.

Madonna del Granduca

Raphael's greatest paintings seem so effortless that one does not usually connect them with the idea of hard and relentless work. For Raphael's vision of the Holy Virgin has been adopted by subsequent generations in the same way as Michelangelo's conception of God the Father.
A painting like Raphael's Madonna del Granduca is truly classical in the sense that it has served countless generations as a standard of perfection in the same way as the works of Pheidias and Praxiteles.
It need no explanation.
Raphael was attained for simplicity.
Raphael makes us feel the volume of the body wrapped in the freely flowing mantle, the firm and tender way in which she holds and supports the Crist Child, all this contributes to the effect of perfect poise.


To appreciate the full beauty of these works, one must spend some time in the rooms and feel the harmony and diversity of the whole scheme in which movement answers to movement, and form to form.
Just as Michelangelo was found to have reached the higher peak in the mastery of the human body, Raphael was seen to have accomplished what the older generation had striven so hard to achieve, the perfect and harmonious composition of freely moving figures.

the nymph Galatea
1512 - 1514

When Raphael had finished the Galatea, was aked ny a courtier where in the world he had found the model of such beauty. He replied that he did not copy any specific model but rather followed a certain idea he had formed in his mind.
Now the process of artists paintings was reversed, as a very of thinking.
Artists tried to modify nature according to the idea of beauty thay had formed when looking at classical statues, they idealized the model.

the school of Athens

the school of Athens

If we look finaly at Raphael's work, we see that he, at any rate, could idealize without any loss of vitality and sincerity in the result.
Raphael's name is connected with the beautiful Madonnas and idealized figures from the classical world may even be surprised to see Raphael's portait of his great patron Pope Leo X of the Medici family, in the company of two cardinals.


Pope Leo X
with two cardinals

Thanks to Raphael's sociable qualities, there was even talk of his being made by a cardinal when he died on his thirty seventh birthday.
One of the most famous scholars of his age, Cardinal Bembo wrote the epitaph for his tomb in the Pantheon of Rome :

This is Raphael's tomb,
while he lived he made
Mother Nature
Fear to be
by him and,
as he died,
to die too.

from the book indicated below

The photos and the texts on this blog are sourced from books and by various sites from the internet (apart from the ones taken by me). Original source is always mentioned. If you feel your photorights have been violated or they have been presented in a negative way, please send me mail. I´ll remove them from my blog immediately.
Thank you

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