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February 16, 2018

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Spotlight Artist: Raphael

September 10, 2019


The School of Athens

Raffaello Sanzio (or Santi) da Urbino





















Read and take notes:

(adapted from

  • Raphael was one of the finest draftsmen in the history of Western art, and used drawings extensively to plan his compositions.

  • Raphael's art marks "a shift of resources away from production to research and development".

  • When a final composition was achieved, scaled-up full-size cartoons were often made, which were then pricked with a pin and "pounced" with a bag of soot to leave dotted lines on the surface as a guide.

  • Most Raphael drawings are rather precise—even initial sketches with naked outline figures are carefully drawn, and later working drawings often have a high degree of finish, with shading and sometimes highlights in white.

  • He was one of the last artists to use metalpoint (literally a sharp pointed piece of sliver or another metal) extensively, although he also made superb use of the freer medium of red or black chalk.

  • In his final years he was one of the first artists to use female models for preparatory drawings—male pupils ("garzoni") were normally used for studies of both sexes




Additional biographical information - read and take notes:​


Essential Questions


  • Raphael was the younger contemporary of both Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo... compare the birth/death dates of these three artists and put this relationship into perspective. 

  • Artists respond to what is happening around them... 1) What ground-breaking work of Leonardo da Vinci caught Raphael's eye in 1504? 2) What subsequent inspirations hit him in 1508?

  • The terms cartoon, metalpoint, humanism (humanist), and fresco were used in the readings. If you can define these terms on your own, please do so. If not, look up the definitions. 




















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