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Raphael was an Italian Renaissance painter who is considered one of the greatestand most popular artists of all time He was born Raffaello Santi or Raffaello Sanzio inUrbino on April 6 1483 He received his early training in art from his father the painterGiovanni Santi According to many art historians he also studied with Timoteo Viti atUrbino executing under his influence a number of works of miniaturelike delicacy andpoetic atmosphere including Apollo and Marsyas and The Knights Dream In 1499 hewent to Perugia in Umbria and became a student and assistant of the painter Perugino Raphael imitated his master closely their paintings of this period are executed in styles sosimilar that art historians have found it difficult to determine which were painted byRaphael Among Raphaels independent works executed at Perugia are two large-scalepaintings the celebrated Sposalizio or Marriage of the Virgin and The Crucified Christwith the Virgin Mary Saints and Angels In 1504 Raphael moved to Florence where he studied the work of suchestablished painters of the time as Leonardo da Vinci Michelangelo and FraBartolommeo At this time he made a transition from the typical style of the Umbrianschool with its emphasis on perspective and rigidly geometrical composition to a moreanimated informal manner of painting His development during his Florentine period canbest be traced in his numerous Madonnas The earliest example still Umbrian ininspiration is the Madonna del Granduca Later examples showing the influence ofLeonardo in serenity of expression and composition include the well-known La BelleJardinire and the Madonna of the Goldfinch The last of his Madonnas executed atFlorence the Madonna del Baldacchino a monumental altarpiece is similar in style to thework of Fra Bartolommeo Raphaels most important commissions during his stay inFlorence came from Umbria His most original composition of this period is theEntombment of Christ an altarpiece that nevertheless shows the strong influence ofMichelangelo in the postures and anatomical development of the figures In 1508 Raphael was called to Rome by
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