Creativity and biography of Rafael Santi
Raphael is an artist who had a monumental influence on how art developed. Rafael Santi is deservedly considered one of the three great masters of the Italian High Renaissance.
The author of an incredibly harmonious and serene canvases, he received the recognition of his contemporaries through the images of the Madonnas and monumental frescoes in the Vatican Palace. The biography of Raphael Santi, as well as his work, is divided into three main periods.
Over 37 years of life, the artist has created some of the most beautiful and influential compositions in the entire history of painting. The compositions of Raphael are considered ideal, his figures and faces are perfect. In the history of art, he appears as the only artist who managed to achieve perfection.
Short biography of Raphael Santi
Raphael was born in the Italian city of Urbino in 1483. His father was an artist, but he died when the boy was only 11 years old. After the death of his father, Raphael became a student in the workshop of Perugino.In his first works, the influence of the master is felt, but by the end of the training the young artist began to find his own style.
In 1504, the young artist Raphael Santi moved to Florence, where he was deeply fascinated by the style and technique of Leonardo da Vinci. In the cultural capital, he began the creation of a series of beautiful Madonnas; there he received his first orders. In Florence, the young master met with Da Vinci and Michelangelo - the masters who had the strongest influence on the work of Raphael Santi. Also Florence Raphael is obliged to get acquainted with his close friend and mentor Donato Bramante. The biography of Rafael Santi in his Florentine period is incomplete and confusing - judging by historical data, the artist did not live in Florence at that time, and often came there.
Four years spent under the influence of Florentine art, helped him achieve an individual style and unique technique of painting. Upon arrival in Rome, Raphael immediately became an artist at the Vatican court and, at the personal request of Pope Julius II, works on frescoes for the papal study (Stanza della Segnatura). The young master continued painting several other rooms, which today are known as “Raphael’s rooms” (Stanze di Raffaello).After the death of Bramante Raphael was appointed chief architect of the Vatican and continued the construction of the Cathedral of St. Peter.
Compositions created by the artist are famous for their grace, harmony, smooth lines and perfect forms, which only Leonardo’s paintings and works by Michelangelo can compete with. No wonder these great masters make up the "unattainable trinity" of the High Renaissance.
Raphael was an extremely dynamic and active person, therefore, despite his short life, the artist left behind a rich heritage consisting of works of monumental and easel painting, graphic works and architectural achievements.
During his lifetime, Raphael was a very influential cultural and art worker, his works were considered the benchmark of artistic mastery, but after Santi's untimely death, attention shifted to Michelangelo’s work, and until the 18th century, Rafael’s legacy was in relative oblivion.
Creativity and biography of Rafael Santi are divided into three periods, the main and most influential of which are four years spent by the artist in Florence (1504-1508), and the rest of the master's life (Rome 1508–1520).
From 1504 to 1508, Raphael led a nomadic lifestyle.He never stayed in Florence for a long time, but despite this, four years of life, and especially creativity, it is customary to call Raphael the Florentine period. Far more developed and dynamic, the art of Florence had a profound impact on the young artist.
The transition from the influence of the Perugian school to a more dynamic and individual style is noticeable in one of the first works of the Florentine period - “Three Graces”. Rafael Santi managed to assimilate new trends, while remaining true to his individual style. Monumental painting has also changed, as evidenced by the 1505 frescoes. In the wall painting traced the influence of Fra Bartolomeo.
However, the influence of da Vinci on the work of Rafael Santi is traced most clearly during this period. Rafael assimilated not only the elements of technology and composition (sfumato, pyramidal construction, contrepost), which were innovations of Leonardo, but also borrowed some of the ideas of the already recognized master. The beginning of this influence can be traced even in the painting “The Three Graces” - Rafael Santi uses a more dynamic composition in it than in his earlier works.
In 1508, Raphael came to Rome and lived there until the end of his days. His friendship with Donato Bramante, the chief architect of the Vatican, provided him with a warm welcome at the court of Pope Julius II. Almost immediately after the move, Raphael began large-scale work on frescoes for Stanza della Segnatura. Compositions that adorn the walls of the papal cabinet are still considered the ideal of monumental painting. The frescoes, among which the Athens School and the Communion Dispute, occupy a special place, provided Raphael with well-deserved recognition and an endless stream of orders.
In Rome, Rafael opened the largest workshop of the Renaissance - under the supervision of Santi worked more than 50 students and painters, many of whom later became outstanding artists (Giulio Romano, Andrea Sabbatini), sculptors and architects (Lorenzetto).
The Roman period is also characterized by the architectural researches of Raphael Santi. Shortly he was one of the most influential architects of Rome. Unfortunately, few of the plans developed were realized due to the untimely death and subsequent changes in the architecture of the city.
Madonna of Raphael
During his rich career, Raphael created more than 30 canvases depicting Mary and the baby Jesus. Madonna of Raphael Santi divided into Florentine and Roman.
Florentine Madonnas - created under the influence of Leonardo da Vinci, depicting a young Mary with a baby. John the Baptist is often depicted near the Madonna and Jesus. Florentine Madonnas are characterized by tranquility and maternal charm, Raphael does not use dark colors and dramatic landscapes, so the main focus of his paintings are beautiful, modest and loving mothers depicted on them, as well as the perfection of forms and harmony of lines.
Roman Madonnas are paintings in which, apart from the individual style and technique of Raphael, no influence can be traced. Another difference in Roman paintings is composition. While the Florentine Madonnas are three-quarters, Romans are more often written to their full height. The main work of this series is the magnificent "Sistine Madonna", which is called "perfection" and compared with a musical symphony.
The monumental canvases that adorn the walls of the papal palace (now the Vatican Museum) are considered the greatest works of Raphael.It is hard to believe that the artist finished the work on Stanza della Segnatura in three and a half years. The frescoes, among which the magnificent "Athenian School", are written in extremely detailed and high quality. Judging by the drawings and preparatory sketches, the work on them was an incredibly time-consuming process, which once again testifies to the hard work and artistic talent of Raphael.
The four frescoes from Stanza della Segnatura depict four spheres of a person’s spiritual life: philosophy, theology, poetry and justice — the compositions Athenian School, The Controversy of Communion, Parnassus, and Wisdom, Moderation, and Strength (Worldly Virtues) .
Raphael received an order for painting the other two rooms: Stanza dell’Incendio di Borgo and Stanza d’Eliodoro. The first contains murals with compositions describing the history of the papacy, and the second - the divine patronage of the church.
Rafael Santi: portraits
Portrait genre in the works of Raphael is not such a prominent role as religious and even mythological or historical painting. Early portraits of the artist technically lag behind the rest of his canvases, however, the subsequent development of technology and the study of human forms allowed Raphael to create realistic portraits, imbued with serenity and clarity inherent in the artist.
The portrait of Pope Julius II written by him to this day is an example for imitation and an object of aspiration for young artists. The harmony and balance of the technical performance and the emotional load of the picture create a unique and deep impression, which only Rafael Santi could achieve. The photo today is not capable of what the portrait of Pope Julius II had achieved in his time - the people who saw him for the first time were scared and cried, so perfectly Raphael managed to convey not only the face, but also the mood and character of the image object.
Another influential portrait performed by Raphael - "Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione", which at one time was copied by Rubens and Rembrandt.
The architectural style of Raphael was influenced by Bramante, which was quite expected, which is why Raphael’s brief stay as chief architect of the Vatican and one of the most influential architects of Rome is so important to preserve the stylistic unity of buildings.
Unfortunately, few of the great master's construction plans exist to this day: some of Raphael’s plans were not implemented because of his death, and some of the projects already built were either demolished or relocated and redone.
The hand of Raphael belongs to the plan of the inner courtyard of the Vatican and the painted loggias facing him, as well as the round church of Sant ’Eligio degli Orefici and one of the chapels in the church of St. Maria del Poppolo.
Painting by Rafael Santi is not the only art in which the artist achieved perfection. Most recently, one of his drawings ("The head of a young prophet") was sold at auction for £ 29 million, becoming the most expensive drawing in the entire history of art.
To date, there are about 400 drawings belonging to the hand of Raphael. Most of them are sketches for paintings, but there are also those that can easily be considered separate, independent works.
Among the graphic works of Raphael there are several compositions created in collaboration with Marcantonio Raimondi, who created many prints from the drawings of the great master.
Today, such a concept as the harmony of forms and colors in painting is synonymous with the name Raphael Santi. The Renaissance acquired a unique artistic vision and almost perfect performance in the works of this wonderful master.
Rafael left descendants artistic and ideological heritage.It is so rich and diverse that it is hard to believe, looking at how short his life was. Rafael Santi, despite the fact that his work was temporarily covered with a wave of Mannerism, and then Baroque, remains one of the most influential artists in the history of world art.