Quincentenary of the death of Raphael (1483-1520)
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (known as Raphael) was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Despite his early death at 37, he left a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. His best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura.
Raphael was one of the finest draftsmen in the history of Western art and used drawings extensively to plan his compositions. He was one of the last artists to use metalpoint (literally a sharp pointed piece of silver or another metal) extensively, although he also made superb use of the freer medium of red or black chalk. In his final years he was one of the first artists to use female models for preparatory drawings — male pupils (‘garzoni’) were normally used for studies of both sexes .