Raphael or Raffaello, a painter and architect of the Florentine school in the Italian High Renaissance, was born on April 6, 1483 and died on his 37th birthday, April 6, 1520. He was also called Raffaello Sanzio, Raffaello Santi, Raffaello da Urbino or Rafael Sanzio de Urbino.
His life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Vite. Born in Urbino, he studied in Perugia under Pietro Perugino; but after moving to Florence he soon adopted the styles of Leonardo and Michelangelo.
RAPHAEL AS AN ARTIST
Raphael is best known for his Madonnas and Holy families and for his large frescoes in the Vatican Palace. In 1509 indeed, he was called to Rome to decorate the Vatican Stanze (rooms), for Pope Julius II. The best known of these works are the School of Athens and the Disputation on the Blessed Sacrament, two large, arch-shaped frescoes, the first depicting the pagan philosophers of Antiquity grouped around Plato and Aristotle and the second depicting Christian theologians grouped under Jesus.
Under Pope Leo X he was chief architect of Saint Peter's Basilica in 1514 and he was named as a sort of supervisor for Roman archaeology research.
He died on his 37th birthday in Rome (reportedly just weeks before Leo was to invest him as a cardinal), deeply lamented by all who knew his value. His body lay for a while in state in one of the rooms in which he had demonstrated his genius, and he was honoured with a public funeral. His last work, the Transfiguration, was carried before him in the funeral procession. The unrelenting hand of death (says his biographer) set a period to his labours, and deprived the world of further benefit from his talents, when he had only attained an age at which most other men are but beginning to be useful. "We see him in his cradle (said Fuseli); we hear him stammer; but propriety rocked the cradle, and character formed his lips."
He was interred in the Pantheon, the country's most honored place.