Raphael (The National Gallery)
David Ekserdjian, Tom Henry
The National Gallery, 2022
For centuries Raphael (1483–1520) has been recognised as the supreme High Renaissance artist. His brief career spanned a mere two decades, but no artist either before or since has done more to shape Western culture.
A painter, draughtsman, architect and archaeologist, Raphael had an extraordinary capacity for self-reinvention. While still in his teens, he was receiving commissions for altarpieces and devotional pictures, and during the years that followed he worked as an independent master throughout central Italy. In 1508, at the age of 25, he was called to the court of Pope Julius II to help with the redecoration of the papal apartments. He remained in Rome for the rest of his life, where he developed into one of the greatest of all history painters, and in 1514 was appointed architect in charge of St Peter’s Basilica.
This lavishly illustrated book presents a comprehensive view of Raphael’s achievements, chronicling the progress of his career in all its richness and complexity. Essays by foremost scholars explore his paintings and drawings, his frescoes in the Vatican Stanze, his designs for tapestries, sculptures and prints, and his engagement with architecture. Detailed and authoritative catalogue entries examine many of Raphael’s finest works.