Rafael or Raphael Sanzio (March 28 or April 6, 1483 - April 6, 1520 (aged 37))

Born in Italy in 1483, he is more commonly known as Raphael. An accomplished architect and painter during the High Renaissance period, he assisted his father as a court painter before apprenticing under Pietro Perugino. He was known for using rich colors, thick paint, and applying a varnish that results in cracks in the finished piece. His first work, Baronci Altarpiece (1502), was completed for the Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentino. Raphael worked with Pinturicchi to paint a fresco series at Sienna Cathedral and Piccolomini Library before traveling to Florentine in 1504, where he drew naked men fighting.

In 1508, Raphael moved to Rome, where he was commissioned by the Pope to complete four frescoes: law, philosophy, poetry, and theology. The School of Athens (1511), representing philosophy, is considered the most popular and features Aristotle, Athena, Michelangelo, and Plato, among others. Some of his other most well-known works include The Sacrifice at Lystra(1515) and The Triumph of Galatea (1514). At the time of his death in 1520 at the age of 37, he had recently completed The Transfiguration (1520).

As a talented architect, he was asked to design St. Peter’s Cathedral, but this was never completed. Much of his work remains at the Vatican today.

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