“Raphael. The Complete Works”: Illustrated book shows the comprehensive life’s work of the genius

“Raphael. The Complete Works”: Illustrated book shows the comprehensive life’s work of the genius

As Raffael, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino has irretrievably gone down in world history. Along with Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci, he is one of the main representatives of the Italian Renaissance. His work shaped the following centuries of art history.

Raphael was born the son of a painter at the court of Urbino. His first dated and documented work dates from the year 1500. Raphael was 17 years old at that time. By the end of his apprenticeship he had already surpassed his master.

After he went to Florence in 1504, he quickly rose to become one of the most popular painters of his time. Above all, his pictures of the Madonna made him famous. The Sistine Madonna is one of the most famous paintings of the Italian Renaissance.

Raffael was the superstar of an era who rushed from success to success in his short life. Pope Julius II and his successor Pope Leo X showered him with orders. With his paintings and frescoes, he not only set the standards of European art for his time, but for centuries. His mature work in Rome, especially the frescoes in the Apostolic Palace, secured his place in art history. During his lifetime he was revered as most modern artist of his time.

Raphael was only 37 years old

Raphael died at the peak of his career on his 37th birthday, a Good Friday, in Rome and was buried in the Pantheon. There is no consensus on the cause of death. It is claimed that he died of an STD. Other sources say his death was the result of contracting malaria.

In his short lifetime, however, Raphael created around a hundred paintings and numerous frescoes, including nine fresco cycles. His variety of themes is unparalleled: sensual female beauties, ancient myths, portraits of wealthy Romans and ecclesiastical dignitaries, historical cycles and scenes from the Bible. He also created altarpieces and tapestries for the Sistine Chapel and directed the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Top-class team of authors for the most comprehensive Raphael work

The new illustrated book “Raphael. The Complete Works. Paintings, Frescoes, Carpets, Architecture” shows a total of 112 paintings, all frescoes, architectural projects and tapestries. It is the most comprehensive work that has appeared on Raphael to date.

A top-class team of authors explains the life’s work of the genius. Michael Rohlmann teaches art history at the University of Cologne and the University of Wuppertal. His habilitation was for the pictorial decoration of the Sistine Chapel. Frank Zöllner is Professor of Medieval and Modern Art History at the University of Leipzig. Rudolf Hiller von Gaertringen, he heads the art collection of the University of Leipzig and has been an adjunct professor of art history since 2012. Georg Satzinger is since 1997 professor of art history at the University of Bonn.

Numerous photographs, drafts and sketches accompany her essays, which explain each phase of the great artist’s life individually and bring the idea behind each work closer to the reader. In our photo series you can take a first look at the opulent illustrated book.

“Raphael. The Complete Works. Paintings, Frescoes, Carpets, Architecture.” Hardcover with fold-out pages, 720 pages, published by Taschen Verlag.

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