Raphael and Luther: A Contrast

The Churchman

It is curious to contrast the lives of great men whom the same enviornment has moulded or the same year ushered into the world. One thinks, for instance, of Fra Angelico and Savonarola, both citizens of Florence, both monks of San Marco, both confessing the same faith, but separated as the poles in its expression. These men, however, lived nearly a century apart. Stranger still is the contrast between Raphael and Luther, whom the same year (1483) ushered into the world, and who were destined to accomplish greater results in art and religion than Fra Angelico could have imaged or Savonarola could have prophesied. But here the environments were as contrasted as the missions. Warm, sunny Urbino nestled the baby Raphael; a Saxon mining town, Eisleben, gave birth to Luther.

Raphael, under his first teacher, Perugino, learned all that was sweet and poetic in art, and, in his Apennine home, shut off from worldly excitement and near to the town hallowed by memories of the holy St. Francis, he seemed at once to irribibe the spirit of fine religious feeling, so characteristic of the Umbrian School.

A Plucky Newsboy
January 25, 1900

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