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Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520)
Raphael was born in the Duchy of Urbino. He was a master painter and architect of the Italian High Renaissance. Raphael is best known for his Madonnas and for his large figure compositions in the Vatican in Rome. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. While we may term other works paintings, those of Raphael are living things; the flesh palpitates, the breath comes and goes, every organ lives, life pulsates everywhere.
School of Athens
Portrait of a Young Man in Red
Duke of Urbino
Madonna and Child with Book
George Fighting the Dragon


Duke of Urbino, c. 1502Ė04
Oil on wood, 47 x 37 cm

This picture was long considered a portrait of Guidobaldo I di Montefeltro because an inscription added on the back of the painting at a later date describes the subject of the work as the Duke of Urbino. Today, however, the similarities with portraits known to be of Guidobaldo are not sufficient and the identity of the man in the picture remains a mystery.

The subject of the picture is seen standing in front of a dark parapet above which appears a separate visual area created by the view over a bright, expansive landscape. This landscape section frames the manís head. The downward glance at the viewer and his noble dress combine to portray a distinguished, consciously distant man who is well aware of his social standing.
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