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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Talk Show Review: Raphael on SecretBuilders

It is Wednesday again and that means that Joebar had another one of his hit talk shows. Today’s guest was Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known simply as Raphael. The Italian painter and architect was the supreme representative of Italian High Renaissance classicism. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the trinity of great masters of that period.

Raphael shared with the audience that he was born as Raffaello Sanzio, on April 06, 1483, in the small but artistically significant Central Italian city of Urbino. His father, Giovanni Santi, was a painter and taught him the basics of painting technique. About six years after his father passed away, Raphael entered the workshop of Perugino.

During his four years with Perugino, Raphael's eclectic disposition and remarkable ability to assimilate and adapt borrowed ideas within a very personal style were already apparent. After he arrived in Florence late in 1504, it was evident to him that his Peruginesque style was dated and provincial compared with the recent innovations of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. It was to the latter's work that he was temperamentally more attracted, and during the next three years he executed a series of Madonnas that adapted and elaborated compositions and ideas of Leonardo's.

Raphael left for Rome in 1508 and had been at work in the Vatican Stanze by early 1509. Pope Julius II's enlightened patronage stimulated the simultaneous creation of the two greatest High Renaissance fresco cycles: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling and Raphael's Stanza della Segnatura. Whereas Michelangelo's frescoes were a masterpiece of titanic creative imagination, Raphael were the epitome of classical grandeur and harmony, disciplined in overall conception, artistic thought, and clarity of individual compositions and figures.

Raphael's career falls naturally into three phases and three styles: his early years in Umbria, then the period of about four years absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates.

Thats just part of what the audience of our Talk Show learned about Raphael from him himself. Next week we have another amazing guest - Miguel de Cervantes. Don't forget to mark your calendars! Hope to see you there next Wednesday!

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