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Painter - Raphael
A self-portrait by Raphael, painted around 1505 when he was 22 years old.

Painter - Raphael

Born in the spring of 1483 in the Italian city of Urbino, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino was to become one of the three great masters of High Renaissance art, along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Orphaned at 11 years of age, Raphael went on to train under the artist Pietro Perugino. He received his first commission aged just 17 and by 1504 his talents were in great demand.

Raphael spent some time in Florence where he was influenced by the works of his contemporary Leonardo da Vinci, although in Rome another contemporary, Michelangelo, is said to have taken a dislike to the younger artist.

In 1508 Raphael moved to Rome where he spent the remainder of his life. Whilst there he was commissioned by the pope to paint frescos in buildings within the Vatican; these were some of Raphael's greatest works.

He died aged only 37 from an unknown cause. His funeral was a grand affair and his sarcophagus bears the inscription, "Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die"

For a closer look at the pictures, please click on them to enlarge.
1.
Also known as Portrait of a Young Man, this piece is named after which Cardinal and friend of Raphael's?
Giovanni de Medici
Cardinal Richelieu
Cesare Borgia
Pietro Bembo
The painting bears little resemblance to its namesake who would have been in his 30s at the time the painting was created. This has led to suggestions that it is a depiction of another subject, such as Agnolo Doni who Raphael is known to have painted
2.
Painted between 1509 - 1510 Disputation of the Holy Sacrament (also known as Disputa) is considered by many to be Raphael's masterpiece. It is a fresco painted on the wall of the Apostolic Palace in which city?
Venice
Naples
The Vatican
Florence
Renamed the Stanze di Raffaello in the artist's honour, the room was, at the time, the meeting place of the supreme papal tribunal and the private papal library
3.
Completed circa 1514, this fresco on the walls of Villa Farnesina in Rome, depicts the triumph of which sea-nymph from classical mythology?
Calypso
Galatea
Europa
Nemesis
The Triumph of Galatea illustrates a story by the ancient Roman poet Ovid. According to Ovid in his Metamorphoses, Galatea was in love with the shepherd-boy Acis. In jealousy the Cyclops Polyphemus threw a great boulder which killed Acis. Galatea then turned her fallen lover's blood into the River Acis which emerges from beneath a large rock on the island of Sicily
4.
This is Raphael's last painting, commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de Medici (who later became Pope Clement VII) as an altarpiece for the Narbonne Cathedral. What is its name?
The Judgement
The Transfiguration
The Ascention
The Rapture
The painting depicts the miracle in which Jesus became radiant, spoke with the ancient prophets Moses and Elijah, and was addressed as "Son" by God's voice from heaven.
Raphael was still working on the piece when he died in 1520
5.
Completed around 1515 La Donna Velata is one of Raphael's most well known portraits. What is its English title?
Mistress of the House
Girl in Mourning
Lady in Silks
Woman with a Veil
The woman featured in the portrait is also the model in another work by Raphael, La Fornarina. It is thought that she may have been Margherita Luti, Raphael's mistress
6.
This painting of 1502 depicts which saint, holding an arrow?
Saint Peter
Saint Sebastian
Saint Paul
Saint Stephen
Saint Sebastian was an early Christian martyr who was tied to a tree and shot with arrows, hence the arrow in the painting. According to legend however, Sebastian survived this ordeal and went on to criticise the Roman Emperor Diocletian - who promptly had him clubbed to death!
7.
This painting is named after the animal which it features. Which animal is it?
A lamb
A dog
A unicorn
A goat
Painted around 1506 Young Woman with Unicorn is thought to have been a wedding present from Raphael to a young couple - the woman in the picture being the bride.
Prior to 1936 the painting featured a symbol of Saint Catherine rather than a unicorn. Restoration work revealed the mythological creature, which in turn was painted over an even earlier image of a dog!
8.
Also known as Double Portrait, this painting shows a friend of Raphael's together with which artist?
Leonardo
Donatello
Raphael
Michelangelo
The title of the piece is Self-portrait with a friend. The identity of the friend is unknown, although some believe that it was one of his pupils.
9.
Angel Holding a Scroll is a part of the Baronci Altarpiece, Raphael's first known commission which was begun in 1500. The altarpiece was badly damaged as the result of an earthquake in 1789, and since then the surviving pieces have been divided between different collectors. How many fragments are known to be in existence?
4 fragments
6 fragments
8 fragments
10 fragments
As well as Angel Holding a Scroll, God the Father, Blessed Virgin Mary and Angel also survived. Two of these are in Naples, one in Paris and the last in Brescia
10.
Completed in 1512, one year before the subject's death, this is a portrait of which pope?
Pope Julius II
Pope Pius XII
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Francis
Speaking of the painting, 16th century artist Giorgio Vasari said, "it was so lifelike and true it frightened everyone who saw it, as if it were the living man himself". A true testament to Raphael's skill

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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