April 6, 2017
Raphael (After), Madonna and Child, no date, oil on board, 20 x 16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1975.
Italian painter Raphael was born on this day in 1493. Raphael is considered one of the masters of the High Renaissance period, along with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Many of Raphael’s works are housed in the Vatican City, including his most famous piece, School of Athens. Raphael’s paintings showcase his mastery of depicting the human form and forming visually aesthetic compositions.
Raphael was born into a family tradition of art, as his father was the court painter to the Duke of the Marche region of Italy. Following his father’s death while Raphael was still a teenager, Raphael took over his father’s studio and began completing commissioned work. As a young man, Raphael lived in Florence for a time, studying the Florentine tradition of art and studying the work of da Vinci and Michelangelo. Raphael eventually moved to the Vatican after being summoned by Pope Julius II, who commissioned him to create frescos in the Vatican Palace. Though his work in the Vatican took up much of his time, Raphael also taught many artists in his studio. Raphael died at the young age of 37 in 1520, coincidentally also on April 6.
Today’s MOA Artwork of the Day is Madonna and Child, painted by an unknown artist who painted it after a piece by Raphael.