|About the Book|
Raphaels paintings along with that of his older contemporaries Leonardo and Michelangelo defined the High Renaissance style in central Italy. Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. He was a popular personality, famous, wealthy, and honoured. His posthumous reputation was even greater, for until the later 19th century he was regarded by almost all critics as the greatest painter who had ever lived — the artist who expressed the basic doctrines of the Christian Church through figures that have a physical beauty worthy of the antique. He became the ideal of all academies and has been a major inspiration to great classical painters such as Annibale Carracci, Poussin, and Ingres. Raphael was seen by 20th century critics like Bernard Berenson as the most famous and most loved master of the High Renaissance.