Style is the perfection of good sense
(John Stuart Mill)

Roman Period

    In 1508 Raphael was called to Rome by Pope Julius II and commissioned to execute frescoes in four small stanze, or rooms, of the Vatican Palace. The walls of the first room, the Stanza della Segnatura (1509-1511), are decorated with scenes elaborating ideas suggested by personifications of Theology, Philosophy, Poetry, and Justice, which appear on the ceiling. On the wall under Theology is the Disputà, representing a group discussing the mystery of the Trinity. The famous School of Athens, on the wall beneath Philosophy, portrays an open architectural space in which Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient philosophers are engaged in discourse.
    After the death of Pope Julius II in 1513, and the accession of Leo X, Raphael's influence and responsibilities increased. He was made chief architect of St Peter's Basilica in 1514, and a year later was appointed director of all the excavations of antiquities in and near Rome.


Madonna tempi The Holy Family The Madonna of the Veil



    Because of his many activities, only part of the third room of the Vatican Palace, the Stanza del Incendio (1514-1517), was painted by him, and he merely provided the designs for the fourth chamber, the Sala Constantina.

Conestabile Madonna

Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child

Sixtin Madonna

The Goldfinch Madonna

    During this period he also designed ten tapestries illustrating the acts of Christ's apostles for the Sistine Chapel; the cartoons, or drawings, for these are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Raphael also devised the architecture and decorations of the Chigi Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo and the decorations of the Villa Farnesina, which include the Triumph of Galatea (c. 1513).

Sixtin Madonna Madonna of foligno

    In addition to these major undertakings, he executed a number of easel paintings, including a portrait of Julius II (1511-1512), a series of Madonnas, and the world-famous Sistine Madonna (c. 1514, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden).   Raphael died in Rome on his 37th birthday, the April 6, 1520. (After Microsoft Encarta 1996)

    Link: Sistine Madonna

Created 05/03/1997. Revised: 03/19/09.
Copyright © 1997 - 2009
by Victor Manta, Switzerland.
All rights reserved in all countries.

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