Raphael - Volume 1
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Raphael (1483-1520), the Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, was a genius in and ahead of his time. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he formed the classical trinity of this era and elaborated a rich style of harmony and geometry. As one of the great masters of the Renaissance and artist to European royalty and the Papal court in Rome, his works comprise various themes of theology and philosophy, including but not limited to famous illustrations of the Madonna. His surroundings and experience gave rise to his propensity to combine the ideals of humanism with those of religion, and firmly established in him a conviction that art is a necessary medium to reveal the beauty of nature.



Publié par
Date de parution 04 juillet 2023
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781785257117
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 7 Mo

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Eugène Müntz

volume 1

Self-Portrait , 1506. Oil on wood, 47.5 x 33 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
Author: Eugène Müntz
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ISBN: 978-1-78525-711-7
Raphael in Urbino, Perugia, and Siena
Drawings 1483-1503
Raphael in Florence
Drawings 1504-1507
Raphael in Rome under Julius II
Drawings 1508-1512
Raphael in Rome under Leo X
Drawings 1513-1515
Raphael the Architect and His Final Years
Drawings 1516-1520
List of Illustrations
Raphael in Urbino, Perugia, and Siena
The Town of Urbino and the Montefeltro Dynasty
The little duchy of Urbino, which had the honour of giving birth at a few years’ interval to the greatest of modern architects and the greatest of modern painters, Bramante and Raphael, is situated in the centre of the Apennines, at the point where Tuscany and Umbria meet. Few Italian provinces have more varied scenery, for there fertile and smiling hills suddenly start up into abrupt mountains, and while in one place the horizon is shut in by fantastic peaks, in another the eye can penetrate to the vast panorama of the Adriatic.
In the second half of the 15 th century, the duchy of Urbino was governed by the valiant and enlightened dynasty of the Montefeltros. Duke Frederick, who died in 1482, a year before the birth of Raphael, had fascinated all Italy by his exploits and splendour. He was a commander of the highest order, the worthy pupil of Piccinino, and the almost-invariably-successful adversary of Sigismund Malatesta, the “enemy of God and man.”
The Montefeltros were not ashamed to be mercenaries, or condottieri, and the title of Gonfalonier of the Church, conferred in later years upon the son of Duke Frederick by Pope Julius II, was only a complimentary one. But no one could have carried out his engagements with more chivalrous fidelity and dignity than Frederick, whose court was frequented by young Italian noblemen who wished to become familiar with all that belongs to a soldier’s calling, and to fit themselves for the duties of statesmanship.
Frederick of Urbino’s chief claim, however, to the regard of his contemporaries and of posterity, was the protection which he extended to literature and art. His was the golden age of the Renaissance, and the sincerity of his enthusiasm and the great sacrifices which he made for it have won for Duke Frederick of Montefeltro a place beside its two noblest champions, Pope Nicholas V and King Alfonso V of Naples. M. Rio, in his work on Christian art, puts the Urbinate prince even above the Medici, for it is difficult to believe that the encouragement given to new ideas by those financiers, who were so eager to place their country under the yoke of despotism, could have been exempt from selfish calculations while the Duke of Urbino had no need for devices to secure the affections of his subjects, whose cry of “God preserve our good Duke” came from the bottom of their hearts.
Frederick’s son, Guidobaldo, born in 1472, carried on the traditions of his father. Brought up by the learned Martinengo, he displayed from his earliest days a fondness for study, and both literature and art found in him a hearty patron.
His courage and good sense endeared him to his subjects, while his wife, Elisabetta Gonzaga, daughter of the Marchese di Mantua, helped, by her beauty and grace, to consolidate his hold upon their affections. The inhabitants of Urbino showed how attached they were to him when they rose, in 1503, against the tyranny of Cesare Borgia and brought Guidobaldo back.

Piero della Francesca , Portrait of Duke Federico da Montefeltro (right panel of a diptych), c. 1465. Oil on canvas, 47 x 33 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
The Santi Family
The patient researches of a scholar of Urbino, Father Louis Pungileoni, have procured for us a very complete acquaintance with the family history of Raphael. His family belonged to a large village called Colbordolo, some few miles from the capital, and a person named Santi is known to have lived there in the 14 th century. One of his descendants, the great-grandfather of Raphael, Pietro or Peruzzolo, was a merchant at Colbordolo a century later, and after the pillage of his house and lands by Sigismund Malatesta, in 1446, the fear of a second attack induced him to go and live in Urbino in 1450. He died there seven years later, and his son carried on his business, also opening a shop for the sale of groceries, hardware, and so forth. His trade seems to have prospered, for he had saved enough by 1463 to buy for 200 ducats, a house, or rather two houses situated close together, in one of those steep streets of which there are so many in Urbino, the Contrada del Monte. [1] This modest dwelling was destined to become famous, for it was here that Raphael was born.
In a letter addressed to Duke Guidobaldo, Giovanni Santi, the son of Santi and the father of Raphael, dwells in some detail upon the difficulties of his early life, beginning with the destruction of his home by Sigismund Malatesta, and going on to speak of the hard work he had to earn a livelihood. He ultimately selected the noblest of careers, that of an artist, and he becomes enthusiastic when he speaks of the marvellous and very famous art of painting ( la mirabile, la clarissima arte de pictura ) . Notwithstanding the anxieties arising from the maintenance of his family, he did not regret his decision though he often found very heavy a burden which, to use his own words, would have appalled Atlas himself.
At what date Giovanni Santi began to work on his own account is uncertain, but we know that by the year 1469 he had his studio in Urbino, and in that year he was entrusted with the duty of receiving as a guest Piero della Francesca, one of the most famous representatives of the Florentine School, who had been summoned by the Brotherhood of the Corpus Domini to execute an altarpiece. Thinking that he would be more comfortable in the house of a fellow artist than at an inn, they asked Santi to lodge him, and though the latter’s pride must have suffered at finding a stranger selected to paint in the city in preference to himself, he received the Florentine with a good grace, and afterwards praised his talents in his Rhymed Chronicle of Urbino.
Giovanni Santi was, in all likelihood, past his first youth when he married Magia Ciarla, the daughter of a well-to-do tradesman of Urbino. From this marriage was born on April 6, 1483, the boy who was destined to shed such lustre on the name of Santi.

Giovanni Santi , The Virgin and Child , c. 1488. Egg and oil on wood, 68 x 49.8 cm. National Gallery, London.

Giovanni Santi , Sacra Conversazione with the Resurrection of Christ , 1481. Fresco, 420 x 295 cm. Tiranni Chapel, Church of San Domenico, Cagli.

Giovanni Santi , St Jerome Enthroned (detail), 15 th century. Tempera on wood panel, 189 x 168 cm. Pinacoteca Vaticana, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City.

Giovanni Santi , Christ Supported by Two Angels, c. 1490. Oil on canvas transferred from panel, 67 x 55 cm. Szépmu ” vészeti Múzeum, Budapest.
The first picture which Giovanni Santi painted after the birth of his son was an altarpiece for the Church of Gradara, and in this work, which was completed on April 10, 1484, when Raphael was only a year old, the face of Jesus, who is represented as sitting on his mother’s knee, is very beautiful. His face, figure, and attitude all remind us of the ‘putti’ which are to be found in so many of Raphael’s compositions, and which are the most perfect expression of infancy. Another painting, a fresco still preserved in the house of the Santis, represents a young woman sitting in front of a desk and holding on her knees a child asleep with his head resting on his left arm. Much injured as this picture is, it still retains traces of its primitive beauty, and the marked individuality of the features, coupled with the absence of a halo, justifies the belief that this is a picture not of the Virgin and Child but of the painter’s wife and son. [2]
In 1485 Giovanni Santi lost, at a few weeks’ interval, his father and one of his sons, probably older than Raphael; the archives of Urbino give us some idea as to the pecuniary position of the family at this period. The father of Giovanni left his two daughters a hundred ducats each, to his son Bartolommeo, who was a priest, seventy ducats, and the remainder of his fortune, including his house, to Giovanni himself. His widow, Elisabetta, continued to live with her son Giovanni, who also found room for his sister Santa when she lost her husband, who was a tailor by trade. Santa had a little money of her own, and as Giovanni earned a certain amount, their position was relatively prosperous. But fresh trouble was in store for him, as his mother died on October 3, 1491, her death being followed only four days later by that of his beloved wife, while on the 25 th of the same month his infant daughter also died. Raphael at that time was only eight years old.
Giovanni found a solitary life unendurable, and a few months later, on May 25, 1492, he contracted a new marriage, his second wife, Bernardina Parte, daughter of a goldsmith in Urbino, bringing him a dowry of 200 florins. From the disputes which afterwards occurred bet

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