9th Edition of Encyclopedia Britannica - free ninth edition online encyclopedia Britannica » Volume 20 [PRU - ROS]: Acute Rheumatism to Redruth


painted frescos picture fresco figures portrait pictures painting executed rome

RAPHAEL (1483-1520). RAPHAEL SANZIO was the son of Giovanni Santi, a painter of some repute in the ducal city of Urbino, situated among the Apennines on the borders of Tuscany and Umbria.' For many years both before and after the birth of Raphael the city of Urbino was one of the chief centres in Italy of intellectual and artistic activity, thanks to its highly cultured rulers, Duke Federigo artists of his time, and contained a collection of oil-paintings splendid court, and the rich treasures which the palace which some of his earliest works, such as the Knight's Dream, were executed.

Though Raphael lost his father at the age of eleven, yet to him he certainly owed a great part of that early training which enabled him to produce paintings of appa-rently mature beauty when he was scarcely twenty years of age. From his father, too, Raphael learned much of the religious sentiment and grace of motive which are specially conspicuous in his earlier paintings. The altar-piece painted by Giovanni for the church of Gradara, and a paintings of the Madonna and Child. On the death of his father in 1494 young Raphael was left in the care of his stepmother (his own mother, Magia Ciarla, having died in 1491) and of his uncle, a priest called Bartolomeo.4 First or Perv,qian, Period. - In what year Raphael was apprenticed to Perugino and how the interval before that was spent are matters of doubt. Yasari's stateinent that he was sent to Perugia during his father's lifetime is cer-tainly a mistake. On the whole it appears most probable that he did not enter Perugino's studio till the end of with every one with whom Raphael came in contact, the Perugian master was fascinated by the charm of his manner and delighted by his precocious ability, and seems to have devoted special pains to his artistic education. The so-called Sketch Book of 1?aphael in the academy of Venice contains studies apparently from the cartoons of some of Perugino's Sistine frescos, possibly done as practice in drawing.

This celebrated collection of thirty drawings, now trained or preserved in portfolios, bears signs of having once formed a bound book, and has been supposed to be a sketch-book filled by Raphael during his Perugian apprenticeship. Many points, however, make this tempting hypothesis very improbable ; the fact that the draw-ings were not all originally on leaves of the same size, and the miscellaneous character of the sketches - varying much both in style and merit of execution - seem to show that it is a collection of studies by different hands, made and bound together by sonic subsequent owner, and may contain but very few drawings by Raphael himself.6 Before long Raphael appears to have been admitted to take a share in the execution of paintings by his master ; and his touch can with more or less certainty be traced in some of Perugino's panels which were executed about 1502. Many of those who, like Messrs Crowe and Cavalcaselle, adopt the earlier date of Raphael's apprenticeship believe that his hand is visible in the execution of the beautiful series of frescos by Perugino in the Sala del Cambio, dated 1500 ; as does also M. Miintz in his excellent Raphad, sa Vie, Paris, 1881, in spite of his accepting the end of 1499 as the period of Raphael's first entering Perugino's studio, - two statements almost impossible to reconcile. Considering that Raphael was barely seventeen when these frescos were painted, it is hardly reasonable to attribute the finest heads to his hand ; nor did he at an early age master the difficulties of fresco buono. The Resurrection of Christ in the Vatican and the Diotalevi Madonna in the Berlin Museum are the principal pictures by Perug,ino in parts of which the touch of Raphael appears to be visible, though any real certainty on this point is unattainable?

About 1502 Raphael began to execute independent works ; four pictures for churches at Citth di Castello were probably the earliest of these, a,nd appear to have been painted in the years 1502-4. The first is a guild-banner painted on one side Nvith the Trinity, and below, kneeling figures of S. Sebastian and S. Rocco ; on the reverse is a Creation of Eve, very like Perugino in style, but possessing more grace and breadth of treatment. These are still in the church of S. Trinith.2 Also for Citta di Castello were the coronation of S. Niccolo Tolentino, now destroyed, though studies for it exist at Oxford and Lille (Gaz. d. B. Arts, 1878, p. 48), and the Crucifixion, now in the Dudley collection, painted for the church of S. Domenico, and signed RAPHAEL VRBINAS P. It is a panel 8 feet 6 inches high by 5 feet 5 inches wide, and contains noble figures of the Virgin, St John, St Jerome, and St Mary Magdalene. The fourth painting executed for this town, for the church of S. Francesco, is the exquisitely beautiful and highly finished Sposalizio, now in the Brera, at Milan, signed and dated RAPHAEL VRBINAS MDIIH. This is closely copied both in com-position and detail from Perugino's painting of the same subject now at Caen, but is far superior to it in sweetness of expression and grace of attitude. The Temple of Jerusalem, a domed octagon with outer ambulatory in Perugino's picture, is reproduced with slight alterations by Raphael, and the attitudes and grouping of the figures are almost exactly the same in both. The Connestabile Madonna is one of Raphael's finest works, painted dining his Perugian period ; it is a round panel ; the motive, the Virgin reading a book of hours, is a favourite one with him, as it was with his father Giovanni. This lovely picture was lost to Perugia in 1871, when Count Connes-tabile sold it to the emperor of Russia for L13,200.

Second or Florentine Period, 1504-1508. - From 1504 to 1508 Raphael's life was very stirring and active. In the first half of 1504 he visited Urbino, where he painted two small panels for Duke Guidobaldo, the St George and the St iNfichael of the Louvre. His first and for him mo-mentous visit to Florence was made towards the end of 1504, when he presented himself with a warm letter of recommendation 3 from his patroness Joanna della Rovere to the gonfaloniere Pier Soderini. In Florence Raphael was kindly received, and, in spite of his youth (being barely of age), was welcomed as an equal by the majority of those great artists Nvho at that time had raised Florence to a pitch of artistic celebrity far above all other cities of the world. At the time of his arrival the whole of artistic Italy was being excited to enthusiasm by bile cartoons of the battle of Anghiari and the war with Pisa, on which Da, Vinci and Michelangelo were then devoting their utmost energies (see LEONARDO and MiciTELAwomo). To describe the various influences under which Raphael came and the many sources from which he drank in stores of artistic knowledge would be to give a complete history of Florentine art in the 15th century.4 With astonishing rapidity he shook off the mannerisms of Perugino, and put one great artist after another under contribution for some special power of drawing, beauty of colour, or grace of composition in which each happened to excel. Nor was it from painters only that Raphael acquired his enlarged field of knoNvledge and rapidly growing powers. Sculptors like Ghiberti and Donatello must be numbered among those whose works helped to develop his new-born style.5 The Carmine frescos of Masaccio and Masolino taught this e,ager student long-remembered' lessons of methods of dramatic expression.5 Among his contemporaries it was especially Signorelli and Michelangelo who taught him the importance of precision of line and the necessity of a thorough knowledge of the human form? From Da Vinci he learned subtleties of modelling and soft beauty of expression,8 from Fra Bartolomeo nobility of composi-tion and skilful treatment of drapery in dignified folds.9 The friendship between Raphael and the last of these was very close and lasted for many years. The architect Baccio d'Agnolo was another of his special friends, at whose house the young painter enjoyed social intercourse with a large circle of the chief artists of Florence, and probably learned from him much that was afterwards use-ful in his practice as an architect.

The transition in Raphael's style from his first or Perugian to his second or Florentine manner is well shown in the large picture of the Coronation of the Virgin painted for Maddalena degli Oddi, now in the Vatican, one of the most beautiful that he ever produced, and especially re-markable for its strong religious sentiment, - in this respect a great contrast to the paintings of his last or Roman manner which hang near it. The exquisite grace of the angel musicians and the beauty of the faces show signs of his short visit to Florence, while the general formality of the composition and certain details, such as the flutter-ing ribbands of the angels, recall peculiarities of Perugino and of Pinturicchio, with whose fine picture of the same subject hung close by it is interesting, to compare it. Raphael's painting, though by far the more beautiful of the two, is yet inferior to that of Pinturicchio in the composition of the whole ; an awkward horizontal line divides the upper group of the Coronation from that below, the apostles standing round the Virgin's tomb, filled with roses a,nd lilies (Dante, Par., xxiii. 73), while the older Perugian has skilfully united the two groups by a less formal arrangement of the figures. The predella of this masterpiece of Raphael is also in the Vatican ; some of family of Perugia as an altar-piece in the church of S. Fiorenzo, and is a work of the highest beauty in colour, well preserved, and very large in scale. The Virgin with veiled he,ad is seated on a throne, supporting the Infant with one hand and holding a book in the other. Below stands S. Niccolo da Tolentino, for whose altar it was painted ; he holds a book and a crozier, and is clad in jewelled mitre and green cope, under which appear the alb and cassock. On the other side is the Baptist, in red mantle and camel's-hair tunic, holding a crystal cross. The rich jewellery in this picture is painted with Flemish-like minuteness. On the border of the Virgin's robe is a date, formerly read as MDV by Passavant and others ; it really is MDVI or MDVIL If the later date is the true one, the picture was probably begun a year or two before. A favourite method of grouping his Holy Families is that seen in the Madonna del Cardellino and the Bella Giar-diniera, in which the main lines form a pyramid. This arrangement is also used in the Madonna del Giardino and in the larger group, including St Joseph and St Elizabeth, known as the Canigiani Holy Family, now at Munich, one of the least graceful of all Raphael's compositions. The Entombment of Christ, now in the Palazzo Borghese in Rome, was painted during a visit to Perugia in 1507 for Lady Atalanta Baglioni, in memory of the death of her brave and handsome but treacherous son Grifonetto, who was killed in 1500 by his enemies the Oddi party.i The many studies and preliminary sketches 2 for this import-ant picture which exist in various collections show that it cost Raphael an unusual amount of thought and labour in its composition, and yet it is quite one of his least suc-cessful paintings, especially in colour. It is, however, much injured by scraping and repainting, and appears not to be wholly by his hand. The Madonna del Baldacchino, one of the finest compositions of the Florentine period, owing much to Fra Bartolomeo, is also unsatisfactory in execution ; being left unfinished by Raphael, it was com-pleted by Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, by whom the ungraceful angels of the upper part and the canopy were wholly exe-cuted, and even designed. It was painted for the Dei family as an altar-piece for their chapel in S. Spirito, Florence. The St Catherine of the National Gallery was probably' painted in 1507 ; its cartoon, pricked for transference, is in the Louvre. In colouring it much resembles parts of the Borghese Entombment, being quiet and grey in tone. To the Florentine period belong some of his finest portraits, and it is especially in these that Da Vinci's influence appears. The portraits of Angelo Doni and his wife Maddalena (Pitti) are vivid and carefully executed paint-ings, and the unknown lady with hard features (now in the Uffizi) is a masterpiece of noble realism and conscien-tious finish. The Czartoriski portrait, a g-raceful effemi-nate-looking youth with long hair and tapering hands, now moved to Cracow, is probably a work of this period ; though worthy to rank with Raphael's finest portraits, its authenticity has been doubted. Very similar in style is the Herrenhausen portrait, once attributed to Giovanni Bellini, but an undoubted work of Raphael, in his second manner ; it also represents a young man with long hair, close shaven chin, a wide cloth hat and black dress, painted in half length. The so-called Portrait of Raphael by him-self at Hampton Court is a very be,autiful work, glowing with light and colour, which may possibly be a genuine picture of about 1506. It represents a pleasant-looking youth with turned-up nose, not bearing the remotest resemblance to Raphael, except the long hair and black cap common to nearly all the portraits of this time.3 A fine but much-restored portrait of Raphael by himself, painted at Florence, exists in the Uffizi ; it represents him at a very early age, and was probably painted during the early part of his stay in Florence.

Third or Roman Period, 1508-20. - In 1508 Raphael was painting several important pictures in Florence ; in September of that year we find him settled in Rome, from a letter addressed in the warmest terms of affectionate admiration to Francia, to whom he sent a sketch for his Adoration of the Shepherds, and promised to send his own portrait in return for that which Francia had given him.4 Raphael was invited to Rome by his fellow-citizen (not relation, as Vasari says) Bramante who was then occupied in the erection of the new church Of St Peter's, the founda-tion-stone of which had been laid by Julius II. on 18th April 1506. At this time the love of the popes for art had already attracted to Rome a number of the chief artists of Tuscany, Uinbria, and North Italy, among whom were Michelangelo, Signorelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio, Lorenzo Lotto, Peruzzi, Sodoma, and many others, and it was among this brilliant assembly that Raphael, almost at once took a leading position.5 Thanks to Bramante's friendly intervention, Julius II. (Della Rovere) soon became Raphael's most zealous patron and friend, as did also the rich bankers Agostino Chigi (the Rothschild of his time) and Bindo Altoviti, whose portrait, at the age of twenty, now at Munich, is one of the most beautiful that Raphael ever produced.

A series of rooms in the Vatican, over the Appartamenti Borgia, were already decorated with frescos by Bonfigli, Perugino, Piero della Francesca, Andrea del Castagno, Signorelli, and Sodoma ; but so rapidly had the taste of the time changed that Julius II. decided to sweep them RAPHAEL-1 all away and re-cover the walls with paintings in the more developed but less truly decorative style of Raphael. It was not without regret that Raphael saw the destruction of this noble series of frescos. One vault, that of the most skilful piece of decorative work ; and he also set his pupils to copy a number of portrait-heads in the frescos of Piero della Francesca before they were destroyed.' Fig. 3 shows the positions of Raphael's frescos in the stanze, which, both from their size and method of lighting, are have an awkward cross light from opposite windows.2 Stanza della Segnatura (papal sig,nature room), painted in 1509-11 (A on fig. 3). The first painting executed by Raphael in the stanze was the so-called Disputa, finished in 1509. It is very unlike the later ones in style, showing the commencement of transition from his Florentine to his " Roman manner "; as a decorative work it is very superior to the other frescos ; the figures are much smaller in scale, as was suited to the very moderate size of the room, and the whole is arranged mainly on one plane, without those strong effects of perspective which aro so unsuited to the decorative treat-ment of a wall-surface. In its religious sentiment too it far excels 266 any of the later stanze paintings, retaining much of the sacred charac-ter of earlier Florentine and Umbrian art. As a scheme of decoration it appears to have been suggested by some of the early apsidal mosaics. Fig. 4 shows the disposition of its main masses, which seem to indicate the curved recess of an apse. Gold is largely used, with much richness of effect, while the later purely pictorial frescos have little or none. The subject of this magnificent paint-ing is the hierarchy of the church on earth and its glory in heaven.a The angels in the upper tier and the nude cherubs who carry the books of the Gospels are among the most beautiful fig,ures that Raphael ever painted.

The painting on the vault of this room is the next in date, and shows further transition towards the "Roman manner." In his treatment of the whole Raphael has, with much advantage, been partly guided by the painting of Perugino's vault in the next room (0). Though not without faults, it is a very skilful piece of de-coration ; the pictures are kept subordinate to the lines of the vault, and their small scale adds greatly to the apparent size of the whole. A great part of the ground is gilt, marked with mosaic-like squares, a common practice with decorative painters, - not intended to deceive the eye, but simply to give a softer texture to the gilt surface by breaking up its otherwise monotonous glare. The principal medallions in each cell of this quadripartite vault are very graceful female figures, representing Theology, Science, Justice, and Poetry. Smaller subjects, some alrnost miniature-like in scale, are arranged in the intermediate spaces, and each has some special meaning in reference to the medallion it adjoins ; some of these are painted in warm monochrome to suggest bas-reliefs. The fine painting of the Flaying of Marsyas is interesting as show-ing Raphael's study of antique sculpture: the figure of Marsyas is a copy of a Roman statue, of which several replicas exist. The very beautiful little picture of the Temptation of Eve recalls Albert Diirer's treatment of that subject, though only vaguely. Much mutual admiration existed between Raphael and Direr : in 1515 Raphael sent the German artist a most masterly life study of two nude male figures (now at Vienna) ; on it is written in Albert Durer's beautiful hand the date and a record of its being a gift from Raphael. It is executed in red chalk, and was a study for two figures in the Battle of Ostia (see below).

On the wall opposite the Disputa is the so-ealled School of .Athens.4 In this and the succeeding frescos all notion of decora-tive treatment is thrown aside, and Raphael has simply painted a magnificent series of paintings, treated as easel pictures might have been, with but little reference to their architectural surround-ings.6 The subject of this noble fresco, in contrast to that opposite, is Earthly Knowledge, represented by an assernbly of those great philosophers, poets and men of science of ancient Greece who were admitted by the chnrch to have been not wholly without inspira-tion from Heaven, and by their labours to have prepared the way for the clearer light of Christianity. The central figures are Plato and Aristotle, while below and on each side are groups arranged with the most consummate skill, including the whole " filosofiea famiglia " of Dante (hifer., iv. 133-144), and a number of other leaders of thought, selected in a way that shows no slight acquaint-ance with the history of philosophy and science amone. the ancient Greeks. In this selection NYC may fairly suppose thatlaphaelx-as aided by Bembo, Ariosto,6 Castiglione, Bibbiena, or others of the crowd of scholars who at this time thronged the papal court. Many interesting portraits are introduced - Bramante as the aged Archimedes, stooping over a geometrical diagram ; a beautiful fair-haired youth on the left is Francesco Maria della Rovere, duke of Urbino ; and on the extreme right figures of Raphael himself and Pertigino are introduced (see fig. 5, below). The stately building in which these groups are arranged is taken with modifications from Bramante's first design for St Peter's.

Over the window (No. 6 on fig. 3) is a group of poets and musicians on Mount Parnassus, round a central figure of Apollo ; it contains many heads of great beauty and fine portraits of Dante and Petrarch. The former, as a theologian, appears also in the Disputa. Over the opposite window (No. 5) are graceful figures of the three chief Virtues, and at one side (No. 4) Gregory IX. (a portrait of Julius II.) presenting his volume of decretals to a jurist ; beside him is a splendid portrait of Cardinal de' .Medici (afterwards Leo X.) be-fore his face was spoiled by getting too stout. This painting shows the influence of Melozzo da Forli.7 On the other side Justinian presents his code to Trebonianus (No. 3) ; this is inferior in exe-cution and appears to have been chiefly painted by pupils.

The next room (B), called La. Stanza d'Eliodoro, was painted in 1511-14 ;6; it is so called from the fresco (No. 7 in fig. 3) represent-ing the expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple (2 Mace. iii.), an allusion to the struagles between Louis XII. of France and Julius II. The whole spirit of the subjects in this room is less broad and tolerant than in the first : no pagan ideas are admitted, and its chief motive is the glorification of the pontificate, with insistence on the temporal power. The main incident of this picture is the least successful part of it : the angel visitant on the horse is want-ing in dignity, and the animal is poorly drawn, as is also the case with the horses of Attila's army in the fresco opposite. The group of women and children on the left is, however, very beautiful, and the figures of Julius II. and his attendants are most nobly desigmed and painted with great vigour. The tall standing figure of Marc Antonio Raimondi, as one of the pope's bearers, is a marvellous piece of portrait painting, as is also the next figure who bears his name on a scroll - I0 . PETRO . DE . FOLIARIIS . CREMONE-N. Behind, Giulio Romano is represented as another papal attendant. This picture was completed in 1512. Over the window (No. 8) is the scene of the Miracle at Bolsena of 1264, when the real presence was proved to a doubting priest by the appearance of blood-stains on the Corporal (see ORVIETO). Julius II. is introduced kneeling behind the altar ; and the lower spaces on each side of the windows are filled with two groups, that on the left with women, that on the right with officers of the papal guard. The last group is one of .the most masterly of all throughout the stanze : each face a careful portrait, is a marvel of expression and power, and t'he technical skill with which the whole is painted to the utmost degree of finish, almost without any tempera touches, is most wonderful. The next fresco in date (No. 10) is that of the Repul-sion of Attila from the walls of Rome by Leo I., miraculously aided by the apparitions of St Peter and St Paul ; it contains another allusion to the papal quarrels with France. It was begun in the lifetime of Julius II., but was only half finished at the time of his death in 1513 ; thus it happens that the portrait of his successor, the Medici pope Leo X., appears twice over, first as a cardinal riding.behind the pope, painted before the death of Julius II., and again in the character of S. Leo, instead of the portrait of Julius which Raphael was about to paint(' Attila with his savage-looking army is not the most successful part of the fresco : the horses are very wooden in appearance, and the tight-fitting scale armour, put on m some impossible way without any joints, gives a very unreal and theatrical look to the picture. Part is the work of pupils.

In 1514 he painted the Deliverance of St Peter from Prison, with a further political allusion (No. 9). It is very skilfully arranged to fit in the awkward space round the window, and is remarkable for an attempt, not much suited for fresco-paiuting, to combine and contrast the three different qualities of light coming from the moon, the glory rouud the angel, and the torches of the sentinels.

For room C Raphael designed and partly painted the Incendio del Borgo (No. 11), a fire in the Borgo or Leonine City, which was miraculously stopped by Leo IV. appearing and making the sign of the cross at a window in the Vatican. In the background is shown the facade of the old basilica of St Peter, not yet destroyed when this fresco was painted. One group on the left, in the fore-ground, is remarkable for its vigour and powerful drawing ; the motive is taken from the burning of Troy ; a fine nude figure of tEneas issues from the burning houses bearing on his back the old Anchises and leading the boy Ascanius by the hand. Some of the female figures are desig,ned with much grace and dramatic power. Many studies for this picture exist. This is the last of the stanza frescos on which Raphael himself worked. Others designed by him and painted by Giulio Romano, Gianfrancesco Penni, and other pupils were the Battle of Ostia (No. 12), a very nobly composed picture, and the Oath of Leo III. before Charlemagne (No. 14). The other great picture in this room (No. 13), the Coronation of Charlemagne (a portrait of Francis I. of France), is so very inferior in composition that it is difficult to believe that Raphael even made a sketch for it. The enormous fresco of the Defeat of Maxentius by Constantine (room D, No. 17) was painted by Giulio Romano, soon after Raphael's death, from a sketch by the latter ; it is even more harsh and disagreeable in colour than most of Giulio Romano's early freseos.1 Among the other very inferior frescos in this great hall are two female figures (Nos. 15 and 16) representing Comitas and Justitia, painted on the wall in oil colours, very harmonious and rich in tone ; they are usually, though vffongly, attributed to Raphael himself.

Technical hfelhods employed in Raphael's Frescos. - Having made many studies, both nude and draped, for single fig-ures and 266 groups, the painter made a small drawing of tbe whole composi-tion, which was enlarged by his pupils with the help of nmnbered squares, drawn all over it, to the full size required,2 on paper or canvas. Holes were then pricked along the outlines of the cartoon, and the desigm pounced through on to an undercoat of dry stucco on the wall, with pounded charcoal and a stiff brush. Over this, early in the morning, a patch of wet stucco was laid, about enough to serve for tbe day's painting ; this of course obliterated the out-line on the wall, and the part covered by the patch was again sketched in by freehand, with a point on the wet stucco, so as to be a g,uide for the outline traced with the brush and the subsequent painting. A line impressed on the wet stucco was easily smoothed out, but a touch of the brush full of pigment sank deeply into the moist stucco, and could not easily be effaced. It will thus be seen that in fresco painting the only use of pouncing the whole design on to the wall was to keep the general positions-of the figures right, and was no guide as to the drawing of each separate part. Fig. 5 shows the portrait-heads of himself and Perugino, at the extreme left of the School of Athens ; on this are visible many of the inipressed sketch-lines, and also part of the " fresco edge" of the patch on which this part is painted. The heads in this figure aro less than one day's work. It will be seen that there is no attempt at any accuracy of drawing in the impressed lines. Raphael, especi-ally in his later frescos, worked with wonderful rapidity : three life-sized busts, or half a full-length figure, more than life-size, was a not unusual day's work. In some of the frescos the edges of each day's patch of stucco can easily be traced, especially in the Ineendio del Borgo, which bas a strong side light. In the Disputa much use was Made of tempera in tbe final touches, but less was used in the subsequent frescos, owing to his increasing mastery of the difficulties of the process.

The paintings in the stanze were only a small part of Raphael's work between 1509 and 1513. To this period belong the Madonna of Foligno (Vatican), painted in 1511 for Sigismondo Conti ; it is one of his most beautiful compositions, full of the utmost grace and sweetness of expression, and appears to be wholly the work of his hand. It has suffered much from repainting. Of about the same date are the gem-like Garvagh Madonna (National Gallery, bought for .E9000 ; once in the possession of the Aldo-brandini family), the Diademed Virgin of the Louvre, and the Madonna del Pesce at Madrid. The last is a very noble picture, but the design is more pleasing than the colour, which, like other paintings of Raphael's at Madrid, suggests the inferior touch of a pupil; it was executed in 1513 for S. Domenico in Naples. In addition to other easel pictures a number of his finest portraits belong to this period - that of Julius II. (Uffizi),3 of which a good replica or contemporary copy exists in the National Gallery, the so-called Fornarina in the Palazzo Barberini, the Bal-dassare Castiglione of the Louvre, and the unfinished por-trait of Federigo Gonzaga of Mantua.

When Giovanni de' Medici, at the age of thirty-eight, became pope as Leo X:, a period of the most glowing splendour and reckless magnificence succeeded the sterner rule of Julius II. Agostino Chigi, the Sienese financier, was the chief of those whose lavish expenditure contributed to enrich Rome with countless works of art. For him Raphael painted, in 1513-14, the very beautiful fresco of the Triumph of Galatea in his new palace by the Tiber bank, the Villa Farnesina, and also made a large series of magnificent designs from Apuleius's romance of Cupid and Psyche, which were carried out by a number of his pupils.4 These cover the vault and lunettes of a large loggia (now closed in for protection); in colouring they are mostly harsh and gaudy,3 as is usually the case with the works of his pupils, a great contrast to the fresco of the Galatea, the greater part of -which is certainly the master's own work.6 For the same patron he painted (also in 1513) his celebrated Sibyls in S. Maria della Pace, - figures of exquisite grace, arranged with perfect skill in an awkward space. It is not without reason that Vasari gives these the highest position among his fresco-paintings.' Agostino Chigi also employed Raphael to build for him a private chapel in S. Maria del Popolo, and to make a series of cartoons to be executed in mosaic on the inner dome.2 The central naedallion has a figure of God among clouds and angel boys, such as Raphael drew with unrivalled gmce (fig. 6), and around are the eight 266 planets, each with its pagan deity and directing ange1.2 He has not hampered himself by any of the usual rules which should apply to the designing of mosaic ; they are simply treated as pictures, with almost deceptive effects of perspective. The execution of these brilliant mosaics was carried out by the Venetian Luigi della Pace, whose signature is introduced on the torch of Cupid in the panel representing the star Venus (Ludovico della Pace Veneziano fecit, 1516). These mosaics are still as perfect and brilliant as if they were the work of yesterday. Probably in the early years of Leo X.'s reign were painted the Madonna della Seggiola (Pitti), the S. Cecilia at Bologna (not com-pleted till 1516), the miniature Vision of Ezekiel (Pitti), and three important pictures at Madrid. The latest of these, known as Lo Spasimo, from the church at Palermo, for which it was painted, is one of Raphael's finest com-positions, representing Christ bearing His Cross. It bears signs of Giulio Romano's hand in its heavy colouring with unpleasant purple tones. The 3fadonna called Della Perla has much changed from the darkening of the pigments ; in design it recalls Leonardo da Vinci.4 The small 3fadonna della Rosa is the rnost perfect in colour of all the master's pictures in the Madrid Gallery, and is usually rather undervalued; it is a most graceful little picture. The portrait of Leo X. with Cardinals de' Rossi and de' Medici, in the Pitti, is one of his finest portrait-pictures, especially as regards the figure of the pope.6 Little is known about the 3fadonna di S. Sisto, the glory of the Dresden Gallery ; no studies or sketches for it exist. In style it much resembles the Madonna di Foligno ; it is less injured by restoration than the latter.

Among the latest works of Raphael are the large St 3fichael and the Devil, in the Louvre, signed "Raphael Urbinas pingebat, DIDXVIII.," and the very beautiful por-tmit of the Violin-player, in the Sciarra-Colonna Palace in Rome, also dated 1518 ; this last bears much resemblance to the painter himself. The British Museum possesses one of Raphael's finest portraits, though only a chalk drawing, that of his friend the painter Timoteo della Vito, a masterpiece of expression and vigour ; it is executed in black and red, and is but little inferior in chromatic effect to an oil-painting ; it is life-size, and is executed with wonderful skill and evident keen interest in the subject.

The tapestry cartoons, seven of which are in the South Kensington 3fuseum, were painted by pupils from Raphael's designs. They are part of a set of ten, with scenes from the Acts of the Apostles, intended, when copied in tapestry, to adorn the lower part of the walls of the Sistine chapel. The tapestries themselves, worked at Brussels, are now, after many vicissitudes, hung in a gallery in the Vatican ; the set is complete, thus preserving the design of the three lost cartoons. The existing seven, after being cut up into strips for use on the looms, were bought by Rubens for Charles 1.6 The tapestry copies are executed with wonder-ful skill, in spite of Raphael's having treated the subjects in a purely pictorial way, with little regard to the exi-gencies of textile work. The designs are reversed, and the colours far more brilliant than those of the cartoons, much gold and silver being introduced. The noble figure of Christ in the Delivery of the Keys to St Peter is in the tapestry much disfigured by the addition of a number of large gold stars all over the drapery, which spoil the simple dignity of the folds. The rich framework round each pic-ture, designed by Raphael's pupils, probably by Penni and Giovanni da Udine, exists in the tapestries and adds greatly to their decorative effect. The cartoons were executed in 1515 and 1516, and the finished tapestries were first exhi-bited in their place in the Sistine chapel on 26th December 1519, - a very short time for the weaving of such large and elaborate pictures. The three of which the cartoons are lost represent the Martyrdom of St Stephen, the Con-version of St Paul, and St Paul in Prison at Philippi. Probably no pictures are better known or have been more often engraved and copied than these seven cartoons.7 The Transfiguration.8 - In 1519 Ca,rdinal Giuliano de' Medici (afterwards Clement VII.), as bishop of Narbonne, ordered two altar-pieces for his ca,thedral, - the one by Raphael, the other by Raphaers Venetian rival Sebastiano del Piombo (see SEBASTIANO). That by the latter painter is the noble Resurrection of Lazarus, now in the National Gallery, in the drawing of which the Venetian received itnportant aid from Michelangelo. Several studies for Raphael's picture exist, showing that he at first intended to paint a Resurrection of Christ as a pendant to Sebas-tiano's subject, but soon altered his scheme into the Trans-figuration. The eight or nine existing studies are scattered through the Oxford, Lille, Windsor, and sonie private collections. A great part of the lower group was un-finished at the time of the painter's sudden death in 1520, and a good deal of the heavy colouring of Giulio Romano is visible in it. On the death of Raphael the picture be-came too precious to send out of Rome, and Cardinal de' Medici contented. himself with sending the Resurrection of Lazarus to Narbonne. The Transfig-uration was bequeathed by him to the monks of S. Pietro in Montorio, in whose church it remained. till it was stolen by Napoleon I. It now hangs in the Vatican Gallery.

Architectural TVorle.1 - Though he designed but few buildings, Raphael's great repute even in this branch of art is shown by the fact that Bramante, before his death in March 1514, specially requested that Raphael should be made his successor as chief archi-tect of St Peter's. To this most important post he was 4pointed by a brief of Leo X., dated 1st August 1514. The progress of St Peter's was, however, too slow for him to leave much mark on its design. Another work of Bramante's, completed by Raphael, was the graceful Cortile di S. Damaso in the Vatican, including the loggie which were decorated with stucco-reliefs and paintings of sacred' subjects by his pupils under his own supervision, but only very partially from his designs.2 The Palazzo dell' Aquila, built for Giovanni Battista Branconio, and destroyed in the 17th century during the extension of St Peter's, was one of Raphael's chief works as an architect. He also designed the little cross church, domed at the intersection like a miniature St Peter's, called S. Eligio degli Orefici, which still exists near the Tiber, almost opposite the Farnesina gardens, a work of but little meiit. According to 31. Geymiiller, whose valuable work, Rafaello come Architetto, Milan, 1883, has done so much to increase our knowledge of this subject, the Villa Farnesina of Agostino Chigi, usually attributed to Peruzzi, was, as well as its palace-like stables, designed by Raphael ; but internal evidence makes this very difficult to believe. It bas too much of the delicate and refilled character of the 15th century for Raphael, whose taste seems to have been strongly inclined to the more developed classic style, of which Palladio afterwards became the chief exponent. The Palazzo Vidoni, near S. Andrea della Valle, also in Rome, is usually attributed to Raphael, but an original sketch for this in Peruzzi's own hand has recently been identified amon,, the collection of drawing,s at Siena ; this, how-ever, is not a cer'stain proof that the design was not Raphael's. M. Geymiiller has, however, shown that the Villa Madama, on the slopes of Monte Mario above Rome, was really designed by him, though its actual carrying out, and the unrivalled stucco-reliefs which make its interior one of the most magnificent palaces in the world, are due to Giulio Romano and Giovanni da Udine, as men-tioned in Vasari's life of the latter.3 The original design for this villa made by Raphael himself has been discovered by M. Gey-miiller. Another architectural work was the little Chigi chapel in S. Maria del Popolo, built in 1516, for the dome of which the above-mentioned mosaics were designed (see fig. 6). At the thne of his death he was preparing to build himself a handsome palace near the church of S. Eligio ; the deed for the purchase of its site was signed by him only a, few days before his last short illness. Though not completed till 1530, the Palazzo Pandolfini at Florence was also designed by him ; it is a dull scholastic building without any special beauty either in proportion or treatment of the mass ; it is illustrated by Montigny and Famin, Architecture Toscane, Paris, 1815, pls. 33-36.

A sober criticism of Raphael's architectural works must force one to refuse him a high position in this branch of art. In the church of S. Eligio and the Chigi chapel he is merely- a copyist of Bramante, and his more original works show but little power of invention or even mastery of the first principles of architectural design. His details are, iowever, often delicate and refined (especially in the Palazzo Pandolfini), and he was supremely successful in the decora-tive treatment of richly ornamented interiors when he did not, as in some of the Vatican stanze, sacrifice the room to the frescos on its walls.

Sculpture. - That Vasari is right in attributing to him the model for the beautiful statue of Jonah in the Chigi. chapel (fig. 7) is borne witness to by two important documents, which show that his almost universal talents led him to attempt with success the preliminary part of the sculptor's art, though there is no evidence to show that he ever worked on marble.4 One of these is a letter written to Michelangelo to warn him that Raphael had been in-vading his province as a sculptor by modelling a boy, which had been executed in marble by a pupil, and was a work of much beauty. Again, after his death his friend Baldassare Castiglione, in a letter dated 8th May 1523, asks his steward in Rome " if Giulio Romano still possesses a certain boy in marble by Raphael and what his lowest price for it would be," - "s'egli [Giulio Romano] ha piU quel puttino di marmo di mano di Raffaollo e per quanto si daria all' ultimo." A g,roup in marble of a Dead Boy on his Dolphin Playfellow, now in the St Petersburg Hermitage, has been erroneously supposed to be Raphael's " put-tine," which has also been identified with a statuette of a child till recently at Flor-ence in the possession of Signor Molini.2 The statue of Jonah was executed in marble by Loren-zetto, a Florentine sculptor ; and it re-mained in his studio for many years after Raphael's death. The South Kensington Museum possesses a small clay sketch for this beautiful group, slightly different from the marble ; it is probably the ori-ginal design by the master's own hand. The whole feeling of the group - a beauti-ful youth seated on a sea - monster - is purely classical, and the motive is probably f Iron fpnm 266 phin.6 Being intended for a church it was necessary to give the figure a sacred name, and hence the very incongruous title that it received. There is no trace of Raphael's hand in the design of the other statue, an Elijah by Lorenzetto, though it also is ascribed to him by Vasari.

Lesser Arts practised by Raphael. - Like other great artists, Raphael did not disdain to practise the lesser branches of art : a design for a silver perfume-burner with female caryatids is preserved in an engraving by 31arco da Ravenna ; and he also desig,ned two handsome repousse salvers for Agostino Chigi, drawings for which are now at Dresden. In designs for tarsia- work and wood-carv-ing he was especially skilful ; witness the magnificent doors and shutters of the stanze executed by his pupil Giovanni Barile of Siena.7 The majolica designs attributed to him were by a name-sake and relation called Raffaello di Ciarla ;2 and, though many fine dishes and ewers of Urbino and other mhjolica are decorated with Raphael's designs, they are all taken from pictures or engrav-ings, not specially done by him for ceramic purposes. With the frivolity of his age Leo X. occasionally wasted Raphael's skill on unworthy objects, such as the scenery of a temporary-theatre ; and in 1516 the pope set him to paint in fresco the portrait life-size of a. large elephant, the gift of the king of Portugal, after the animal was dead? This elephant is also introduced among the stucco reliefs of the•Vatican loggie, with the poetaster Barrabal sitting iu mock triumph on its back.

Though Raphael himself does not appear to have practised the art of engraving, yet this formed one of the many branches of art which were carried on under his supervision. A large number of his desig,ns were engraved by his pupils Marcantonio Raimondi (see vol. xv. p. 530) and Agostino Veneziano. These valuable engrav-ings are from Raphael's sketches, not from his finished pictures, and in some cases they show important alterations made in tho execution of the picture. Raimondi's engraving of the S. Cecilia of Bologna in design is very inferior to that of the actual painting. Several of Raphael's most important compositions are known to us only by these early engravings, e.g., the Massacre of the Innocents (engraved by Raimondi), which is one of his finest works, both for skilful composition and for masterly drawing of the nude. Another magnificent design is the Judgment of Paris, containing a large number of figures ; the nude figure of Minerva is a work of especial force and beauty. A standing figure of Lucretia2 about to stab herself is also one of his most lovely figures. Many of Raphael's studies for Marcantonio's engravings still exist.

Arehzeology. - As an antiquary Raphael deserves to take the highest rank. His report3 to X. in 1518 is an eloquent plea for the preservation of ancient buildings. In 1515 he had been appointed by Leo X. inspector of all excavations in Rome and within 10 miles round. His careful study of the antique, both statues and modes of decoration, is clearly shown in many of his frescos, and especially in the graceful stucco reliefs and painted grotteschi, of which he and his pupils made such skilful use in the decorations of the Vatican loggie, the Villa Madams, and elsewhere!

Raphael's Fame. - When we consider the immense field over which his labours were spread and the strong personal individuality which appears in all these varied branches of art, together with the almost incredible number of paint-ings that issued from his studio, it will be seen that he must have laboured with an amount of unflagging industry which has perhaps never been surpassed, and that too in a time and in a city of which the social habits and luxurious splendour certainly threw every possible temptation in the way of steady application and regular work.

Among all the painters of the world none has been so universally popular as Raphael, or has so ste,adily mainBaidacchino of the Pitti, and the Transfiguration could possibly be the work of one painter? In his earliest pic-tures he touches the highly spiritual and sacred art of the Perugian Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, while in his latest Roman work he is fully embarked in the pagan spirit of the last pupil, completed in 1521 Raphael's San Severo fresco in a style differing but little from his paintings executed in the previous century.

In versatility of power Raphael (as a painter) remains almost without a rival ; whether painting an altax-piece for a church, a large historical fresco, a portrait, or decor-ative scenes from classical mythology, he seems to excel equally in each; and the widely different methods of painting in tempera, oil, or fresco are employed by him with apparently equal facility. His range of scale is no less remarkable varying from a miniature finished like an illuminated Mg., to colossal figures in fresco dashed in with inimitable breadth and vigour.

An additional glory is thrown round his memory by the personal beauty, charm of manner, and deep kindliness of heart which endeared him to all who knew him.5 His sincere modesty was not diminished by his admission as an equal by the princes of the church, the distinguished scholars, and the world-famed men of every class IN ho formed the courts of Julius II. and Leo X. In accordance with the spirit of the age he lived with considerable dis-play and luxury, and was approached with the utmost deference by the ambassadors of foreign princes, whether their master desired a picture, or, as the duke of Ferrara did, sent to consult him on the best cure for smoky chimneys. To his pupils he was as a father, and they were all, as Vasari says, " vinti dalla sua cortesia " ; they formed round him a sort of royal retinue, numbering about fifty youths, each talented in some branch of the arts.6 Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni, his two favourite pupils, lived with him in the Palazzo di Bramante, a house near St Peter's, where he resided during the greater part of his life in Rome. This fine palace, designed by Bra-mante, was destroyed in the 17th century at the same time as Raphael's Palazzo dell' Aquila.

It is difficult to realize the furor of grief and enthusiasm excited by the master's death on Good Friday 1520, at the age of thirty-seven exactly, after an attack of fever which lasted only ten days. His body was laid out in state in his studio, by the side of the unfinished Transfiguration, and all Rome flocked to the place for a last sight of the " divino pittore." His property amounted to about L30,000 ; his drawings and MSS. he left to Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni ; his newly bought land to Cardinal Bibbiena, the uncle of the lady to whom he had been betrothed ; there were liberal bequests to his servants ; and the rest was mostly divided among his relatives at Urbino. He desired to be buried in the Pan-theon, under the noble dome which he and Bramante had dreamed of rivalling. His body is laid beside an altar, which he endowed with an annual chantry, and on the wall over it is a plain slab, with an inscription written by his friend Cardinal Bembo. Happily his grave has as yet escaped the disfigurement of a pretentious monument such as those erected to Michelangelo, Dante, and other great Italians ; it has not, however, remained undisturbed : in 1833 it was opened and the bones examined.7 In March 1883 a festival was held at Urbino, on the occasion of the 4th centenary of his birth, and on this occasion many interesting articles on Raphael were published, especially one by Geynaiiller, "Le IVme Centenaire de la Naissance de Raphael," 1483-1883, in the Gaz. de Lausanne, March 1883.

.Literature. - Comolli, Vita inedita di Raffaello, 1790 ; Duppa, Life of Raphael, London, 1816 ; Braun, Raphael . . . Leben und IVerke, Wiesbaden, 1819 ; Fea, Raffaello . . . ed aleune di lui Opere, Rome, 1822 ; Rehberg, Rafael Salmi° aus Urbino, Munich, 1824 ; Quatretnere de Quincy, Vita ed Opere di Raffaello, trans. by Longhena Milan 1829 (a work marred by many inaccuracies) ; Rumohr, Veber iaphael und sein Verheillniss Berlin, 1831 ; Rio, Ilfichelange el Raphael, Paris, 1863 ; Gruyer, Raphael el l' Antiguild (Paris, 1864), Les Vierges de Raphael (Paris, 1878), and Raphael, Peintre de Portraits (Paris, 1880) ; Grimm, Das Leben Retphaels von Urbino, Berlin, 1872 (intended specially to point out the errors of Vasari and Passavant, and not written in a very fair spirit) ; Gher-ardi, Della Vita di Pm:Taollo, Urbino, 1874 ; Springer, Rafael und Michelangelo, Leipsic, 1878 ; Perkins, Raphael and Michelangelo, Boston, 1878 ; Dohme, Kunst und Kiinstler des Mittelalters, Leipsic, 1878 (vol. ii. of this valuable work, with many illustrations, is devoted entirely to Raphael and Michelangelo); Alippi, It Raffaello, Urbino, 1880 ; Clement, Michelangc et Raphael, 5th ed. (improved), Paris, 1881 ; Eng. .14Iiintz, Raphael, sa Vie, son ffuvre, &c., Paris, 1881 (this is on the whole the best single work on Raphael, both from its text and its numerous well-chosen illustrations) ; Passavant, Rafael und scin Vater, Leipsic, 1839-58 (a valuable book, especially for its list of Raphael's works ; a new edition translated by Guasti into Italian was published at Florence in 1882, but, though printed so recently, this edition is in no way superior to the French one of Lacroix, Paris, 1860, which, however, is a great advance on the original German text) ; Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Life and Works of Raphael, London, 1882-85 ; Eug. Miintz, Les Historiens et les Cri-tiques de Raphael, Paris, 1883 (contains a good bibliography of the subject). The student of Raphael owes a special debt of gratitude for the recent labours of MM. Miintz, Gruyer, and Geymiiller.

Reproductions of Raphael's Works. - From the time of Raimondi downwards no painter's works have been so frequently engraved. The Calcografia Camerale (now called Regia) of Rome possesses an enormous number of copper-plates of his pictures by a great many good (and bad) engravers of this and the last century. Elec-trotypes of the old coppers are still worked, and are published by the Stamperia at very moderate prices ; in the catalogue Nos. 736 to 894 are the works of Raphael, including several books of engrav-ings containing whole sets, such as the Vatican loggie, &c. A very complete collection of photographs from these and other en-gravings is published by Gutbier and Liibke, Rafael's Werke, stimmt-liche Tafelbilder und Fresken, Dresden, 1881-82, in three large volumes, divided into classes, - pictures of the Madonna, frescos, stanze of the Vatican, tapestry cartoons, &c. The descriptive text and life of Raphael are by Liibke. The IvIalcolm, Oxford, British Museum, Lille, Louvre, Dresden, and other collections of Raphael's drawings have mostly been published in photographic facsimile, and an enormous number of illustrated motiog,raphs on single pictures exists. Braun's autotypes of the stanze and Farnesina frescos are especially good. (J. H. M.)

Rapin, Paul De [next] [back] Raphael

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or