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Raphael Raffaello Sanzio 1483-1520 Raffaelo Sanzio was the youngest of the three giants of the High Renaissance He was born in Urbino in 1483 and received his first instruction in the techniques of painting from his father Giovanni Santi a minor artist Urbino is where Raphael spent his youth At Federicos court Raphael was introduced to the works of such artists as Paolo Uccello Melozzo da Forl and Francesco di Giorgio as well as the Flemish artists Hieronymus Bosch and Joos van Gent At the age of seventeen his father sent him to Perugia to become an apprentice under the highly-regarded Perugino In the four years he spent in Peruginos workshop Raphael learned all that his master could teach him and the period passed without problems or challenges In his early works Raphael remained faithful to the Perugino School The idealizing beauty of Peruginesque women with their calmly contemplative expressions and strikingly small mouths lingers on for some time In the faces of Raphaels Madon nas Slowly and tentatively however Raphael began to modify the style he had learned gradually assimilating the new techniques of Leonardo and Michelangelo The conception structure and style of his early famous Sposalizio of 1504 correspond closely to those of the work of the same name by Perugino and it is assumed that Raphael was here executing a repeat commission passed on to him by his teacher But while the faces of the figures could have been painted by Perugino Raphael can elsewhere be seen to introduce elements which reveal his interest in the acheivements of the new age In 1504 Raphael went to Florence bearing a letter of recommendation from the Duchess of Montefeltro to the gonfalonier Soderini In autumn 1508 shortly after summoning Michelangelo to Rome Julius II also sent for Raphael If Vasari is to be believed the Pope acted upon the recommendation of Bramante the architect of StPeters who was also originally from the Urbino
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