A Short History of Italian Painting

By Alice Van Vechten Brown; William Rankin | Go to book overview

RAPHAEL SANZIO1
1483-1520 AND FOLLOWERS

RAPHAEL forms an entire contrast to his great rival both in life and character. Born in the little ducal town of Urbino, containing one of the most polished courts in Italy, his father, Giovanni Santi, court painter to the cultivated Montefeltri and a poet, Raphael from the start was bred to an artist life and to courtly ways. Educated in the school of the Marches, with its half Umbrian, half North Italian bent, at about seventeen (c. 1500)2 he came already trained to Perugia and entered Perugino's bottega as an assistant.3 After four years of intimate contact there with Perugino and Pintorricchio, assimilating what the Umbrian masters had to give, and even executing some independent work, he went at twenty-one to Florence, just as the great David (p. 236) was set up, and while the fame of the two cartoons was in every mouth, and he responded at once to the influence of Leonardo and Michelangelo and the whole Florentine movement. He felt the dignity of antique classic design, he copied Masaccio's work in the Brancacci Chapel, and for two

____________________
1
Authorities: C. & C., Morelli, Passavant, Muntz, Rosenberg (notes by Gronau), Springer (good), Oppe, monograph ( Methuen), Gronau, monograph on Raphael's early drawings. Cartwright (uncritical). For a fine æsthetic analysis, see Blashfield's Ital. Cities, also Kenyon Cox's important essay in Old Masters and New.
2
The facts of Raphael's life at Urbino are largely conjectural. From 1500 the way is clearer, and the Roman period furnishes abundant documentary material, letters and other, for his history. Documents show that Raphael undertook with Evangelista di Piandemeleto (his fathers "famulus" or foreman from 1483) the execution of an altarpiece, the Coronation of S. Nicholas of Tolentino (now lost), for S. Nicolo, Città di Castello. Magherini Graziani publishes two docs. in Boll. della R. Deputazione di Stor. patria per l' Umbria, cit. by A. Vent., L'Arte, XIV, 139-46. Drawings, Lille Museum, for the picture remain, attrib. to Pintorricchio by Morelli; to Raphaellby Loeser. They are certainly in Perugino's style, but we assign them to Raphael, and think they indicate the relationship between Perugino and Raphael at this date.
3
See p. 157 and p. 248 f.

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