Santi Raphael, 1483-1520

[Mentioned in Miscellaneous Writings, p. 375]

The beauty of Raphael's painting lies in its grace, freshness, purity, and clarity. To his work he brought a keen observation and a serene outlook on life, the first quickened by the loveliness of the Umbrian countryside in which he grew up, and the second strengthened by the understanding with which he was surrounded from childhood. Although orphaned at 10, he had been taught to love art and poetry by his father, who, besides being a merchant, was a painter at the Montefeltro court.

After studying here with Timoteo, Raphael received instruction from Perugino, a genius in rendering light and air effects. Soon it was difficult to tell Raphael's works from his teacher's. When Raphael returned home, however, his works were distinguishable by their greater architectural feeling and their more varied landscapes. Moreover, he had learned the rules of oil and fresco painting.

Raphael next journeyed to Florence, where his work gained in strength and spontaneity. His Madonnas are not abstract; the Virgin's face reflects maternal affection and joy; her eyes are not invariably cast down. And the figures of the children—Jesus and John— have a free naturalness. Studies for these paintings show the thought he gave to them. All supernatural elements were eliminated.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

The Signs of the Times
March 26, 1955

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.