In a way, Raphael Sanzio’s entire life was made up of early years – he died at thirty-seven, an age when other artists were just coming into their own. Even before the glories of the final decade of his life in Rome, we can already discern in his younger years his exquisite receptivity to a variety of influences: his own father the Umbrian master Giovanni, as well as Perugino, Pinturicchio, and Signorelli, among many others. Alive to their examples, he experimented in media and in subject matter, both secular and sacred. A stylistic sponge, Raphael absorbed and assimilated voraciously. When in his early twenties Raphael arrived in Florence, he not only joined the company of Fra Bartolomeo, Michelangelo, and Leonardo, he also watched them and learned.
Dr John Gagné is a Senior lecturer in History and Director of the Medieval and Early Modern Centre at the University of Sydney
Proudly presented with Istituto Italiano di Cultura – Cultural Office of the Consulate General of Italy.
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