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Raphael or Raffaello (April 6, 1483 - April 6, 1520) was a master painter and architect of the Florentine school in the Italian High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and softness of his paintings. He was also called Raffaello Sanzio, Raffaello Santi, Raffaello da Urbino or Rafael Sanzio da Urbino.

The surname Sanzio derives from the latinization of the Italian, Santi, into Santius (also, when signing solely using his baptismal name, "Raphael"). His father, Santi Giovanni, was also a painter in the court of Urbino.

In 1491 his mother M?gia died and his father then died on 1 August 1494. Thus orphaned at eleven, Raffaello was entrusted to his uncle Bartolomeo, a priest. He had already shown talent , as recounted by Giorgio Vasari, his contemporary - he tells that since childhood Raphael had been "a great help to his father". Unfortunately it is not known precisely how Raphael assisted and, lacking any documentation on this part of his life, his formative phase remains unknown.

Nevertheless, in Urbino he came into contact with the works of Uccello and Signorelli. The most obvious influence on his early first works is that of Pietro Vannucci, aka Perugino. According to Vasari, on a trip to Perugia with his father, Raphael impressed Perugino.

His first documented work was an altarpiece for the church of San Nicola of Tolentino in Castello, a town halfway between Perugia and Urbino. It was ordered in 1500 and finished in 1501 (it was later seriously damaged during an earthquake in 1789 and today only fragments of it remain). In the following years he painted works for other churches there (like the Wedding of the Virgin, today at Brera) and for Perugia.

In 1504 he went ......

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