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Art History Lessons with Lucy J

10 things you should know about Raphael


1-     His full name is Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino.

2-     He was named after the archangel, Raphael, and painted him twice.

3-     Raphael was a studio apprentice by the time he was 11 under the artist Pietro Perugino.

4-     Despite the religious themes that Raphael used as motifs for his work, Vasari, a contemporary biographer, documented that he    was actually an atheist.

5-     All of Raphael’s ‘Madonnas’ are portraits of the same woman.

6-     Raphael never married but had a long affair with a baker’s daughter called Margherita Luti.

7-     Raphael was not afraid to show the influence that other famous artists of time had on him such as Paolo Uccello or Leonardo. There is even legend that he spied on Michelangelo whilst he was painting the Sistine Chapel.

8-     Raphael was a renowned ladies man.

9-     He died aged 37 on Good Friday in 1520 which was in fact his birthday.

10-  Raphael was buried in the Pantheon and the inscription on his sarcophagus reads: Ille hic est Raffael, timuit quo sospite vinci, rerum magna parens et moriente mori,” meaning: “Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die.”