When you say the name Raphael you think of the spirit of the Renaissance and aside from that you know that this man was Michelangelo’s great rival. You will find many historians and scholars comparing the two and agreeing that Raphael could possibly be the only one that matched the extraordinary talent and brilliance of Michelangelo. Unfortunately during his lifetime his work was overshadowed by that of Michelangelo, but since the 19th century his work became fully appreciated and respected for its brilliance. Today he remains a much celebrated artists and stood the test of time.
Born in Italy in 1483 with a father who painted in court he showed interest and love shared by his father and at age eight began his apprentice. After his parent’s death when he was only eleven his uncle became his guardian and his artist career took off fast. The work for which he is known best and also his first was the altar piece of Tolentino in Citta di Castello for the Saint Nicholas Church. From here he created the Mond Crucifixion as well as the Wedding of the Virgin a year later.
During this early stage of his career he also created outstanding cabinet paintings like St. Michael and Three Graces.
In 1508 he moved to Rome and upon arrival created a fresco for Pop Julius II’s private library. During this time he came across work of Michelangelo and the rivalry started in earnest as similarities between the work of Michelangelo and Raphael could not be missed. In fact Michelangelo went as far as accusing Raphael of plagiarism after his death. Even though Raphael dabbled in engravings, drawing and architecture his paintings and especially work for the Vatican were his life. Unfortunately he died at a young age of 37, but he left the world with lasting memories of his remarkable greatness.