One of Raphael's paintings of himself
A leading figure of Italian High Renaissance classicism, Raphael is best known for his "Madonnas," including the Sistine Madonna, and for his large figure compositions in the Palace of the Vatican in Rome.
his father, Giovanni Santi, was a painter and doubtless taught Raphael the rudiments of technique. Santi died when his son was 11 years old. Raphael's movements before 1500, when he joined the workshop of Perugino, are obscure, but he evidently fully absorbed the 15th-century classicism of Piero della Francesca's paintings and of the architecture of the Ducal Palace at Urbino and the humanist tradition of the court.
Raphael's art contributed to a more detailed, realistic and glorified depiction of the human form. He captured the grandeur and dignity of the human spirit in a way that embodied the spirit of the Renaissance. Raphael's work remained a major source of influence upon his successors until the 20th Century.