Course overview

A Study day with Diana Matthews exploring the life and career of Raphael Santi, the ‘Divine’ Raphael. who was not only a major Renaissance painter but also an architect, poet, surveyor, and designer. We shall study his major artistic works but also less well known areas of his career, such the design of a series of ground breaking projects including chapels, palaces, and villas and how he initiated a survey of the archaeology of Rome in order to preserve for the future something of the ancient past. Vasari rightly described him as an uomo universale, and his influence remains important today.

Course description

Raphael spent his life in a series of important Renaissance artistic centres and the course will begin with his early years in the great Duchy of Urbino where his father was employed as court artist. From there we move onto his training in Perugia with the greatest living artist of his generation, Perugino. By now Raphael’s talent as an artist was becoming known and we shall consider in some depth his early works in Florence and elsewhere. In 1508, still only 25, Raphael arrived in Rome where together with Michelangelo and Bramante, he would become one of the great ‘trinity’ of High Renaissance masters. Employed by Pope Julius II to decorate the papal apartments in the Vatican, his approach was so innovative that soon he was being deluged with commissions, all of which he dealt with through his business acumen and growing workforce. His style continued to evolve and in 1520 he seemed to be on the verge of yet another artistic breakthrough when he died suddenly aged only 37.

This is a course for all who enjoy the Italian Renaissance period and wish to gain a deeper understanding of one of its leading protagonists.

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