Five hundred years have passed since the summer of 1512, when Pope Julius II commissioned to a young Raphael the altarpiece for the monastery church of San Sisto, in the northern Italian city of Piacenza. The result of the commission is Raphael’s masterpiece known as “The Sistine Madonna”. Today the painting is displayed in the Old Master’s Picture Gallery in Dresden, Germany. The museum is celebrating the anniversary of this iconic image with an outstanding exhibition, showcasing a wide range of materials, from early 16th century sketches to modern and contemporary reinterpretations of Raphael’s most emblematic figures. Taking the chance to celebrate this classic work of art, ikono is proud to present the Great Raphael as its latest artist of the month.
Raphael, whose full name was Raphael Sanzio, was born on April 6, 1483 in Urbino, and painted some of the most awe-inspiring and influential works of art of the Italian Renaissance. Since his early paintings, Raphael’s greatness is revealed through the use of depth, perspective, light and shadow inspired at first from Piero della Francesca, but exquisitely developed in Perugia where he became an apprentice of Pietro il Perugino.
His holy depictions made him famous in Florence, where he was influenced by Michelangelo’s approach to anatomy and Leonardo da Vinci’s use of light and shadow. His success eventually brought him to Rome, where, from 1509 to 1511, he decorated the Vatican’s chambers with frescoes such as “The School of Athens” and “The Fire in the Borgo”.
He died in 1520, while painting “The Transfiguration”, today located in the Vatican, which was later completed by his pupil, Giulio Romano.
Portraits from the exhibition “Late Raphael” at Museo del Prado
(Until September 16, 2012) This unprecedented exhibition brings together the works produced by Raphael in Rome during the last years of his short life. This was the period in which his style attained its full maturity, marking without a doubt the apogee of the Italian Renaissance.
More at Museo del Prado.
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