The School of Athens, detail of the cartoon depicting a young man's head, c.1510 (charcoal & white lead on paper), Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio of Urbino) (1483-1520) / Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy / The Bridgeman Art Library
Italian Renaissance artist Raphael (1483 – 1520) painted works exemplifying his era’s ideals of beauty and harmony. A child prodigy, he exceeded the talents of the leading painter in his hometown of Urbino, Italy when he was 12. Raphael was noted for his brilliant Vatican stanzas, and the Madonnas he portrayed with unprecedented human sentiments. He also masterfully utilized depth, perspective, light and shadow, which made his figures appear warm, serene and lifelike. Pope Julius II’s respect for Raphael was so profound that he had planned to make him Cardinal.