Raphael's father, Giovanni Santi, painter at the court of Federigo Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, first taught him the elements of art. About six years after the death of his father (1494) he entered the workshop of Perugino, whose influence is seen in The Crucifixion and The Knight's Dream (both: National Gall., London); Coronation of the Virgin (Vatican); The Three Graces (Chantilly); and the Sposalizio (Brera, Milan). The Colonna altarpiece, representing the Madonna and Saints (Metropolitan Mus.), marks the end of the Perugian period of his work.
The five predella scenes, Agony in the Garden (Metropolitan Mus.), St. Anthony of Padua and St. Francis (both: Dulwich), Procession to Calvary (National Gall., London), and Pietà (Gardner Mus., Boston), give evidence of the new influences of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Masaccio, and, especially, Fra Bartolomeo. Studying the intricacies of anatomy, perspective, and coloring, he achieved a freer, more able, and deeper interpretation than was seen in his earlier work. In Florence (1504–8) he produced numerous Madonnas that are renowned for their sweetness of expression. His self-portrait (Uffizi) and the penetrating portraits of Angelo and Maddalena Doni (Pitti Palace) are also from this period.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.