Our Artists


Measure, grace and harmony are the essence of Raphael’s art. He was considered, along with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, to be one of the great painters of the High Renaissance and had a profound influence on Western art over the centuries that followed.


Raphael’s early years

There is little to tell us about Raphael’s early training. His father was the official painter at the court of Federico III da Montefeltro in Urbino and he must have learned the basic techniques from him. His artistic education continued in Perugia, where Raphael worked in Perugino’s studio. Here, Raphael became immersed in his master’s style and way of working, but at the same time demonstrated a freedom of thought with regard to conventional patterns. This can be seen in The Marriage of the Virgin, Raphael’s first dated painting (1504), which is inspired by the painting of the same name by Perugino.

The Florentine period

In around 1504, Raphael left for Florence, having been recommended by his patron in Urbino. Here, he discovered the masterpieces of the Florentine renaissance and benefited from the influence of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who were also working in Florence. Here too, Raphael showed his great capacity to absorb the teaching of these painters, but also to innovate and demonstrate great creativity, as we can see in The Canigiani Holy Family  (c. 1505-1506) inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and The Deposition (1507) where we see the influence of Michelangelo.
The Florentine period was particularly marked by the Madonna theme, to which he dedicated a number of works: Madonna of the Meadow, Madonna of the Goldfinch, La Belle Jardinière, etc.

Raphael in Rome

In 1508, Raphael was called to the court of Pope Julius II. Here, he undertook the decoration rooms in the Papal Palace. The frescoes in these stanze (rooms in Italian), were painted by Raphael and his pupils. The Stanza della Segnatura contains Raphael’s most famous frescoes, including the Disputation of the Sacrament and the School of Athens. From 1513, under the papacy of Leo X, Raphael was appointed as chief architect for the works on the Saint Peter Basilica, then as the Pope’s official architect, and finally as “Prefect” in charge of all of Rome’s ancient buildings. He also continued to paint Madonnas, including the Sistine Madonna, well known for its famous cherubs, and portraits: Leo X with two cardinals and La Fornarina.

Raphael was very active across a wide range of disciplines. He died early at the age of 37 without being able to finish The Transfiguration, his last painting, which was completed by his pupils and kept at the Vatican Art Gallery.


Le Mariage de la Vierge, (The Marriage of the Virgin) 1504
Les Trois Grâces, (The Three Graces) 1504-1505
Saint Georges combattant le Dragon, (Saint George and the Dragon) 1504-1505
La Dame à la licorne, (Lady with a Unicorn) c. 1506-1506
Madone aux œillets, (Madonna of the Carnations) c. 1506-1507
La Vierge, le Christ et saint Jean-Baptiste dit la Belle Jardinière, (Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist, also known as La Belle Jardinière
) 1507-1508
L'École d'Athènes, (The School of Athens) 1510-1511
La Madone de Saint Sixte, (The Sistine Madonna) c. 1513
La Fornarina, (Portrait of a Young Woman, also known as La Fornarina)  1518-1520
La Transfiguration, (The Transfiguration)1518-1520

Useful links

Raphael’s rooms in the Vatican
Raphael at the National Gallery in London

Raphaël 's products at Nouvelles Images

> Prints and posters

Prints and posters The Sistine Madonna (detail) Prints and posters The Sistine Madonna (detail) Prints and posters The Sistine Madonna (detail)

Nationality(ies) : Italian
Born on : 06/04/1483
Died on : 06/04/1520
Profile : Architect, Designer, Painter, Sculptor
Artistic current(s) : Renaissance
Theme(s) covered : Fine Art, Portraits - Characters