“…for when he closed his eyes, she became almost blind.”

Today is Raphael’s birthday. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he formed the traditional trinity of great masters of the High Renaissance. He was born on April 6 (or March 28), 1483, died on April 6th (Good Friday), 1520.

Vincenzo Labella described the Raphael’s La Belle Jardiniere, “This is Leonardo’s air, his light; these are the volumes of Michelangelo; but the breath of love, this meditation in line and colors on the mystery of love, is Raphael’s alone.” :

La-belle-jardiniere

— La Belle Jardiniere, Paris, Louvre

Giorgio Vasari praised Raphael’s Sistine Madonna, “A truly rare and extraordinary work”:

Madonna_Sixtina

— Sistine Madonna, Dresden, Germany

The School of Athens frescoes in the Vatican is the master piece of Raphael. He painted Leonardo da Vinci as Plato, Michelangelo as Heraclitus, and himself as Apelles (who was a renowned painter of ancient Greece in the 4th century BC).

school of athens

With the ringing of the bells that saluted the new treasures acquired by Pope Julius. The Season of Giants was concluded.

As witnessed by our never-ending sense of wonder at the masterpieces that were its harvestit would have no equal in the flowing of history through the centuries unto our time.

–Vincenzo Labella

The Transfiguration is the last painting by Raphael:

Transfiguration_Raphael

Raphael died in Rome on Good Friday, April 6, 1520, his 37 birthday. His body was entombed in the Pantheon:

When this noble artist died, painting would fain have died with him, for when he closed his eyes, she became almost blind.

— Giorgio Vasari

Notes:

  • At his request, Raphael was buried in the Pantheon
  • When Raphael’s funeral mass was held at the Vatican, his unfinished Transfiguration was placed on his coffin stand.
  • According to Vasari’s book, Raphael was born on April 6th, 1483.
  • Giorgio Vasari (1511 – 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, writer and historian. His Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects is considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing. Uffizi Gallery in Florence was designed by Giorgio Vasari

Painting photos were from wikipeida

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