Michael Bryan.

Dictionary of painters and engravers, biographical and critical online

. (page 118 of 201)
Online LibraryMichael BryanDictionary of painters and engravers, biographical and critical → online text (page 118 of 201)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Vasari must have been mistaken. No conclusive
evidence has yet come to light on the poiut, and
Raphael's biographers take sides according to their
notions of probability. When Raphael was eight
years and six months old his mother, Magia, died,
and six months later Giovanni Santi married one
Bernardina Parte. In 1494 Giovanni died, leaving


Raphael heir to an estate under the guardianship
of his uncle, Bartolommeo Santi. Raphael's first
master was his father. Over his second rages a
standing controversy. On the one hand the party
led by the Commendatore Giovanni Morelli believes
that between the death of Santi and Raphael's,
introduction to Perugino, several years intervened,
during which he was taught by Timoteo Viti. On
the other, a party, with Messrs. Crowe and Caval-
caselle at its head, refuses to modify Vasari's
narrative more than is strictly necessary, and con-
tends that Sanzio left home while still a child, and
began to take lessons from Perugino as early as
1495. Perhaps the truth may lie between the two
extremes, and Raphael's early teaching have been
more desultory than either party will allow. During
the last ten years of the 15th century Perugino's
movements were very erratic ; but from 1495 to
1500 his chief domicile appears to have been at
Perugia, and there, too, Raphael may have spent
most' of his time. That various influences were
contending within him at this period is proved by
such early works as the 'Vision of a Knight,' in
the National Gallery, which is half Timotesque and
half Peruginesque. If the ' Venice Sketch-Book '
may be taken as Raphael's, it affords an additional
proof of his catholicity of study. The arguments
advanced by Signer Morelli have proved conclu-
sively that the drawings it contains are not original
designs by Raphael ; but they leave untouched the
much more tenable belief that they are copies
made by him while still a boy, after studies and
even prints by men so different from each other as
Mantegna, Pinturicchio, and Signorelli. It is very
possible that these drawings were made in the
interregnum between Santi's death and the arriviil
of his son in Vannucci's studio. The continual
recurrence in the afterwork of Raphael, of motives
foreshadowed in the sketch-book, as well as many
details of execution, point to him as its author.
It would be impossible to discuss the question here
at length, and we must be content merely to note
that this solution of the problem has been proposed,
and, as yet, has not met with the attention it seems
to deserve.

Raphael's doings while under Penigino are still-
involved in obscurity, and it is not until he finally
migrates to Rome that the plain road of his career
is reached. While in Vannucci's studio he was
much associated with Pinturicchio, and the part
he played towards that master is another point
in dispute. Pinturicchio commenced his frescoes
in the Piccolomini library, at Siena, in 1504, and
Vasari asserts that he employed Raphael to make
sketches and cartoons for his use. Drawings of
three of these frescoes, existing respectively at
Chatsworth, in the Uffizi, and in the Casa Baldeschi
at Perugia, have long been ascribed to Raphael,
and looked upon as evidence to the truth of Vasari's
statement. Now, however, Morelli and his followers
declare them to be the work of Pinturicchio, and
deny that Raphael had any hand in the frescoes.

About the beginning of 1504 Raphael's inde^
pendent career seems to have begun. The most
important work of this time is the ' Sposalizio,' at
Milan, which is dated 1504. Late in the same
year Raphael went to Florence, ^yhere he opened a
new stage in his development. / The manner of
Perugino rapidly fell away from him, and the dis-
tinctive characteristics of his own personality grew
in freedom. The works of Leonardo and Michel-
angelo were, no doubt, the immediate stimulus. The




influence of the former ia visible in such things
as the ' Maddalena Doni ' ; that of the latter in
many drawings and studies, notably in the free
study from Buonarroti's ' David,' in the British
Museum. This visit to Florence was not of long
duration, however, for in 1505 we find liira back
in Perugia, and at work upon several important
pictures. To these next years belong the altar-
piece painted for the nuns of Sant' Antonio of
Padua, the Ansidei Madonna, which was finished
in 1506, the San Severo fresco, and the Terranuova
Madonna. The 'Entombment' was painted in
1507, and about eighteen months later Raphael
was in Rome. Between 1504 and 1509 it is pro-
bable that he had oscillated a good deal between
Florence, Perugia, and Urbino. The pictures
belonging to that period may have been carried on,
some in one of those cities, some in another, just
as Vannucci before him had probably kept up
studios both at Florence and Perugia. His com-
missions had come from the wealthy patrons of
Florence, from the patricians and religious bodies
of Perugia, and from the ruling family of his own
native Urbino.

It has been generally stated that Raphael went
to Rome in 1508, the assertion being founded on
a letter from him to Francia, quoted by Malvasia,
which, according to that writer, was dated from
Rome in September, 1508. Doubts have now been
thrown on the authenticity of the letter ; and even
Crowe and CavalcaSelle, who accept it in the main,
question the date. How and by whom Raphael
was summoned to Rome is unknown. Julius II.
was invested with the tiara on the 26th Nov., 1507.
Julius, as we know through Paris de Grassis,
declined to take up his abode in the chambers
occupied by Alexander VI., and thence called the
' Torre Borgia.' Contiguous to the suite of apart-
ments in which he actually settled himself, lay
the rooms now famous as the 'Stanze.' These had
been partly decorated by painters of repute, and
nothing could be more natural than for the Pope to
order their completion. Now, more than a month
after the asserted date of Raphael's letter to
Francia, Sigismondo Chigi had engaged with Julius
that Sodoma should paint pictures to the value of
fifty ducats in these upper chambers of the Vatican,
and we know from other evidence that Bazzi's
energies were confined to the ' Camera della Segna-
tura.' But it was in this very ' Camera ' that
Raphael did his first work in Rome, and that after
erasing much that Bazzi had done. It ia clear that
if. Sodoma had only been engaged to paint the
'Camera' in the middle of October, 1508, and if
Raphael's first work in Rome was the supercession
of what that painter had produced in fulfilment of
his bargain, the younger man's arrival in the city
must have been later than the winter of 1508.
Messrs. Crowe and Cavaloaselle assume that Julius
II. visited the ' Stanze ' early in 1509, disapproved
of what Bazzi had done, ordered his work to
be taken down, and, on the advice of Bramante,
Michelangelo, or perhaps Francesco Maria of
Urbino, invited Sanzio to Rome.

Raphael began his work in the 'Camera della
Segnatura' by painting the compartments in the
ceijing, taking the oblongs first and next the
rounds, before descending to the great round-topped
frescoes on the walls. The latter were painted in
the following order : ' The Dispute of the Sacra-
ment,' 'The School of Athens,' 'The Parnassus,'
' Jurisprudence ' (in three pictures). This camera
GG 2

was completed in 1511, after about two years' hard
work, and the Pope at once commissioned Raphael
to decorate the adjoining chamber, the ' Stanza
d'Eliodoro.' The general character of this apart-
ment is Papal rather than philosophical ; it is the
glorification of the Pope rather than that of mind
by which its frescoes are inspired. They consist of
the 'Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple,'
'The Miracle of Bolsena,' 'The Deliverance of St.
Peter,' and 'The March of Attila.' Each of these
has a double significance. On the one hand, tliey
celebrate a glorious event in the history of Christi-
anity ; on the other, they recall some achievement
or characteristic of the reigning Pope.

During 1509-14, while Raphael was engaged
upon the 'Stanze,' he also found time to produce
several large altar-pieces, many smaller Madonnas,
and not a few portraits, all of which are enumerated
below. With the accession of Leo X. the Roman
patronage of art expanded still farther, and the
painter was overwhelmed by the umltiplicity of
commissions that poured in upon him. From this
time onward his biography is comprised in his
works. His life was even more uneventful than
usual with a painter. Anecdotes of his covert
warfare with Michelangelo, of his liaison with the
Fornarina, and of his diflSoulties with those extra-
Roman potentates to whom he had ' promised
pictures, make up the history of his later years.
About the middle of 1514 he received his orders to
paint another ' Stanze,' tliat of the ' Incendio del ■
Borgo.' In this third chamber he painted the
'Incendio' itself, 'The Battle of Ostia,' 'The
Coronation of Charlemagne,' and 'The Oath,
of Leo III.' The three latter, however, were
mainly, if not entirely, carried out by his pupils.
Simultaneously with these frescoes, Sanzio carried
on the decorations of the famous ' Loggia.'
For these, too, he was content to make the
designs, the actual painting being carried out •
by Giovanni da Udine, Giulio Romano, Gian-
Francesco Penni, Perino del Vaga, and many '
others. Passavant came to the conclusion that
Raphael's share in the work had been confined to
furnishing sketches, which were expanded into
cartoons, &c., by Giulio Romano, on whom the
immediate charge of the works devolved. Herr
Springer carries doubt still further, and affirms that
but very few original sketches for the Loggia have
come down to us, and that with a large part of the
work, especially in the three last bays, the master
had nothing to do. The whole Loggia consists of
thirteen bays, and each bay contains four frescoes,
representing scenes from the Old and New Testa-
ments ; hence the series is often called ' Raphael's
Bible.' The Vatican contains two more sets of
frescoes, for which Raphael furnished the designs,
even if he did no more. These are the figures of
Christ and the Twelve Apostles, which adorn the
hall of the Pope's pages, and the decorations in
the small room contiguous to the Loggia, which is
known as the bath-room of Bibbiena. I'he latter
has now for years been inaccessible even to the
student ; it is said, indeed, that the paintings of
Sanzio have been hidden under battens ever since
the beginning of the present century.

Pending these frescoes, another great work
Raphael carried out for the palace of the Popes
was the series of designs known as the ' Acts of
the Apostles,' whose most famous embodiment is
to be found in the ' Cartoons.' These originally were
ten in number. All but three have been preserved,





and now hang in the Suuth Kensington Museum.
They are ' The Calling of Peter,' ' The Draught of
Fishes,' ' The Death of Ananias,' ' The Heahng of
the Lame Man,' 'Paul and Barnabas at Lyetru,'
' Paul preaching at Athens,' and ' lOlymas struck
Blind.' The three which have perished were the
' Stoning of Stephen,' the ' Deliverance of St. Peter,'
and the ' Conversion of St. Paul.' All ten designs
were woven in tapestry at Brussels by Pieter van
Aelst, for 1000 ducats a-pieoe, and, after many
vicissitudes, his tapestries are now preserved in tlie
Vatican, more or less damaged. After the com-
pletion of this series, Raphael made sketches for a
'Coronation of the Virgin,' for 'Scenes from the
Life of Christ' (which were finished long after his
death), and for a set known as the ' Giuochi di
Putti.' In all these, however, his share was very
slight ; in the two latter, perhaps, amounting to
nothing beyond a few suggestions to his pupils.

After Leo X., Raphael's chief patron towards the
end of his life was Agostino Chigi, who was occu-
pied with the erection of his famous villa in the
Trastevere during the first twenty years of the
16th century. Chigi's architect, according to
Vasari, whom in this matter we prefer to follow,
was Baldassare Peruzzi, but some critics have en-
deavoured to gain the glory of the work for Sanzio.
It is much more probable that Raphael's first con-
nection with the building was when he began the
' Galatea ' in one of its saloons. The approximate
date of this is furnished by a letter addressed to
Castiglione in the summer of 1514, in which the
fresco is mentioned in terms that would be out of
place in speaking of anything but work lately
finished. Cliigi also comirissioned Raphael to paint
his famous group of the ' Sibyls,' in Santa Maria
della Pace ; the ' Planets,' in Santa Maria del
Popolo ; and the ' History of Psyche,' in the Loggia
of his own villa. In all these works his chief
assistants were the three artists whose names pos-
terity has most closely coupled with his own —
Giulio Romano, Gian-Francesoo Penni, and Gio-
vanni da Udine. Of the easel pictures executed
by Raphael during the last few years of his life,
the ' Madonna della Sedia,' the so-called ' Pearl,'
the ' Madonna di San Sisto,' and the ' Transfigura-
tion ' were the most important. As for the last-
named, it was commissioned by Cardinal Giuliano
de' Medici as a gift to the town of Narbonne, of
which Francis I. had made him bishop. It was
painted in a sort of covert competition with Michel-
angelo, who, as Raphael well knew, was supplying
Sebastiano del Piorabo with drawings for that
' Raising of Lazarus ' which the Cardinal had
ordered at the same time as he commissioned the
'Transfiguration.' The latter was left unfinished
at Raphael's death, and was displayed at the head
of his bier when he lay in state.

Raphael's achievements as an architect and as a
sculptor are beyond the scope of this dictionary.
Their consideration is, moreover, complicated by
the doubts which hang about them. Of all the
buildings ascribed to him the finest is the Palazzo
Pandolfini, at Florence, which was not actually
begun until he was dead, and was then carried
on and finished by two successive architects' —
Gian-Francesco and Aristotile da San-Gallo, whose
influence on the result it is now impossible to
determine. Raphael's doings at St. Peter's, to
which he was appointed arohitect-in-ohief in 1614,
on the death of Bramante, do not speak highly for
his powers as an architect, so far as we can divine


what they were. Another disputed point belonging
to these latter years of the painter's life, relates to
tlie authorship of a report on the remains of ancient
Rome presented to the Pope, By a papal brief,
dated August 27th, 1515, Raphael was appointed a
kind of inspector of antiquities, and invested with
powers to forbid the destruction of ancient inscrip-
tions ; and by that fact a starting-point is atforded
to those who would give him the credit of the
report in question. Two editions of its text have
been published, one by the Volpis in their 1733
edition of Castiglione ; the other by Passavant. At
first the report was believed to be the work of
Castiglione, but after the publication of a paper on
the subject, in 1799, by the Abbate Francesconi,
the authorship of Raphael was for a time generally
admitted. In more recent years, however, certain
critics, with Grimm at their head, have elaborated
arguments to prove that Andrea Fulvio, the anti-
quary, who lived in great intimacy with Raphael,
was the true author.

Raphael was never married. In 1514 he was
negotiating for a wife from his native city, when
his appointment to the post vacated by Bramante's
death took place. Thereupon Cardinal Bibbiena
offered him his niece. Raphael broke off the pour-
parlers with Urbino, and engaged himself to Maria
Bibbiena. Her sickness and death, however, soon
put an end to the match. Little as we know of the
subject, it is certain that during his last years the
heart of Raphael was given to the mistress whom
the world now calls the Fornarina, although that
name was never committed to print until early in
the 18th century. Vasari tells us that " Marc-
Antonio executed a certain number of engravings
for Raphael, which he handed over to Baviera, one
of the master's scholars. This man had charge of
a woman whom Raphael loved to death, of whom
the master painted a very beautiful portrait, which
appeared no less than alive ; this portrait is now in
Florence, in the possession of Matteo Botti ; " again,
" Raphael painted the portrait ... of his own mis-
tress" : and "Raphael, like a good Christian, sent
away his mistress before making his will, but gave
her enough to keep her in comfort." Finally he
tells us that Chigi besought the lady to install her-
self at the Farnesina, so that Raphael might have
no inducement to neglect the work he had there in
hand. Late in the 16th century, the owner of a
copy of Vasari wrote on the margin of a page in
which this lady is mentioned, that her name was
Margarita. Beyond the bare facts here set out,
notliing is certainly known of Sanzio' s mistress.

Raphael died at Rome on Good Friday (March
26th or 28th), 1520. The cause of his death was
a rapid fever, brought on, no doubt, as fevers still
are in the same city, by over-work. Whether dis-
sipation had anything to do with it or not, as the
gossips of the time declared, it is now too late to
determine. His body lay in state for a few hours in
his studio, with his 'Transfiguration' hung above
it, and every painter in Rome passed before it. It
was interred in the Pantheon, in a tomb which for
centuries had no mark but the eloquent epitaph of

For an account of Sanzio's relations with Marc'-
Antonio Raimondo, and the painters who were his
pupils— Giulio Romano, Penni, Udine, &o.,— see
their lives.

The following list of pictures is arranged as far
as possible in chronological order. The titles in
italics are those of which the authenticity is doubt-




ful, or in which there is none of the master's own
work : W.A.


15C0 ? The Knight's Dream. (N'atinnal Gallery.)
The Three Graces. (Due d'Aumdle.)
The Madovna Diotalevi. (Berlin Museum.)
The Solly Madonua. (Do.)
The Madonna with SS. Jerome and Francis. (Do.)

1502 ? Small St. Michael overthrowing Satan. (Louvre.)

1503 ? St George with the Sword. (Do.)

St. George » ith the Lance. (Hermitage.)

The Nativity. (Perugia.)

The Adoration of the Magi. (Do.)

The Dudley Crucifixion ; signed Kaphael Urbinas,

P. (Earl of Dudley.)
The Trinity ; on a processional banner for the Con-
fraternity of the SS. Triniti, at Citta di Castello.

(Gallery of Citth di Castello.)
The Creation of Eve ; pendant to the preceding.

(Do.) Morelli ascribes both to Eusebio di San

1502-1503. Tue Coronation of the Virgin; painted for

Maddalena degli Oddi of Perugia. (Vatican.)
' Three predella panels for the Coronation — the

' Annnnciation,' the ' Presentation,' and the

' Adoration of the Magi.' [Do.)

1504. The Sposalizio; signed Eaphael Vebinas mdiiii.

The Madonna Connestabile. (Hermitage.)
The Madouna del Gran Duca. (Bitti Gallery.)

1505. The Ausidei Madonna. (Finished later, and dated

MDVI. National Gallery.)


1504-1506. The Madonna of St. Anthony of Padua. This
picture forms the point of junction between
Kaphael's first and second styles. (Ex-King of
Naples ; deposited in the South Kensington

1505. The Trinity and Saints ; fresco ; partly by Baphael.

(San Severo, Beriigia.)

1506. Five predella panels to the Madonna of St. Anthony,

now distributed in England —
The Agony in the Garden. (Lady Burdett-C'outts.)
Christ hearing His Cross. (Formerly at Leigh Court.)
The Pieta. (Mr. M. H. Dawson.)
S. Anthony. (Dulioich Gallery.)
S. Francis. (Do.)

1506. St. John the Baptist preaching; predella to the

Ansidei Ma<lonna. (Marquis of Layisdowne.)
1505-1506. The Terranuova Madonna. (Berlin Museum.)

Portrait of Angelo Doni. (Bitti Gallejy.)

Portrait of Maddalena Doni. (Do.)

La Donna Gravida. (Do.)

Portrait of a Lady. (Vffizi.)

Boi trait of Himself. (Do.)

The small Cowper Madonna. (Earl Cou-per, Ban-

The Madonna del Cardellino ; painted for Lorenzo
Nasi. (UJizi.)

The Madonna in the meadow ; signed and I'ated
1505 or 1506. ( Vienna Gallery.)

The Madonna di Casa Tempi. (Munich Gallery.)

The little Orleans Madonna. (Duo d'Aumdle.)

The Madonna with the beardless Joseph. (Her-

The Madonna of the Palm. (Bridgewater Gallery.)

The Canigiani Madonna. (Munich Gallery.)

1507. The Entombment ; signed and dated ; painted at

Perugia for Atalanta Baglioni. (Borghese Gallery,

Three predella panels for the last named — ' Faith,'

' Hope,' and ' Charity.' (Vatican.)
The Holy Family with the Lamb ; signed and dated

1507. ( Madrid Galle7-y.)
St. Catherine of Alexandria. (National Gallery.)
The Madonna with the Bink. (Lucca, Count L.

The Bridgewater Madonna. (Bridgcwater Gallery.)
The Madonna di casa Colonna ; unfinished. (Berlin


1508. The large Cowper Madonna; signed and dated.


•0.)-) i i

La Belle Jardiniere; painted largely by Eidolfo

Ghirlandajo. (Louvre.)
Tile Esterhazy Madonna. (Besth.)
The Madonna del Baldacchino ; begun by Eaphael,

finished by some one else, perhaps Fra Barto-

lommeo. (Pitti Gallery)


1509. Astronomy. (Fresco in the Camera della Segnatura,

Judgment of Solomon. (Do.)
Fall of Man. (Do.)
Apollo and Marsyas. (Do.)
Theology. (Do.)
Poetry. (Do.)
Justice. (Do.)
Philosophy. (Do.)

The Dispute of the Sacrament. (Do.)
The School of Athens. (Do.)
Parnassus. (Do.)

Fortitude, Prudence, and Temperance. (Do.) I
Justinian issuing the Pandects. (Do.)
Gregory IX. delivering the Decretals. (Do,)jr-i ^
Bortrait of Julius II. (Bitti Gallery ; many other

versions exist. )
Bortrait of Sannazaro. (Hermitage.)
Madonna di Loretto. (Lost; a very good copy

deposited at South Kensington.)
The Madonna of the Diadem. (Louvre.)
The Madonna di Casa Alba. (Hermitage.)
The Eogers Madonna. (Bresent owner unknomn.)
The Garvagh, or Aldobrandini, Madonna. (National

God appearing to Noah. (Fresco in Stanza d'Eli-

odoro, Vatican.)
Abraham's Sacrifice. (Do.)
Jacob's Dream. (Do.)
The Burning Bu.*. (Do.)
The Expulsion of Heliodorus. (2?o.)
The Miracle of Bolsena. (Do.)
1512? The Madonna di Foligno. (Vatican Gallery.)

The Madonna del divin 'amore. (Naples Gallery^

The Madonna dell' Impannata. (Munich Gallery.)

Portrait of Bindo Altoviti. (Do.)

Isaiah. (Fresco in S. Agostino, Borne.)

The Repulse of Attila. (Fresco in the Stanza d'Eli-

odoro, Vatican.)
The Deliverance of St. Peter. (Do.)
Caryatides. (Do.)
The Triumph of Galatea; painted for Agostino

Chigi. (Farnesina Palace, Borne.)
The Madonna della Seggiola. (Pitti Gallery.)
1514? The Four Prophets — Lsaiah, Daniel, Jonas, and

David. (Frescoes in the Church of S. Mai-ia

della Bace, Rome.)
The Sibyls. (Do.)

The Madonna del Pesce. (Madrid Gallery.)
The Madonna dei Candelabri ; the angels certainly

not by Raphael. (Mr. Butler- John son.)
The Madonna della Tenda. (Munich Gallery.)
Portrait of Inghirami. (Bitti Gallery.)
1514. Incendio del Borgo. (Fresco in the Stanza delP

Incendio, Vatican.)
The Battle of Ostia. (Do.)
1515-1516. The Cartoons—

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes. (South Ken-
sington Museum.)

The Charge to Peter. (Do.)

The Conversion of St. Paul. (Lost.)

The Stoning of Stephen. (Lust.)

Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate of the
Temple. (South Kensington Museuin.)

The Death of Ananias. (Do.)

Elymas struck blind. (Do.)

SS. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra. (Do.)

St. Paul preaching at Athens. (Do.)

St. Paul delivered from Prison. (Lost.)
Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici. (Lost.)
Portrait of BaldasFare Castiglione. (Louvj'e.)
Portrait of Cardinal BibbienJ. (Bitti Gallery.)
Bortrait of a Youth. (Louvre.)
Coronation of Charlemagne. (Fresco in the Stanza

dell' Incendio, Vatican.)
The Oath of Leo III. (Do.)





1517 ? Lo Spasimo di Sicilia ; painted for S. Maria dello
Spasimo, Palermo. {Madrid Gallery.)

Tlie Madonna di SanSisto ; painted for the convent
of San Sisto, at Piacenza. {Dresden Gallery.)

The St. Cecilia ; painted for a chapel in S. Giovanni
in Monte, Bologna. {Bologna Gallery.)
1518. II Suonatore, (the Violin Player) ; dated. {Sciarra
Colonna Palace^ Rome.)

Online LibraryMichael BryanDictionary of painters and engravers, biographical and critical → online text (page 118 of 201)