Raphael (1483–1520) is considered the most important artist of the Italian High Renaissance alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo. In his short lifetime he created around one hundred paintings and numerous frescoes, including nine fresco cycles, on an unsurpassed variety of themes – from sensual female beauties, antique myths and portraits of wealthy Romans and church dignitaries to history cycles and biblical scenes. He produced altarpieces, as well as designing tapestries for the Sistine Chapel and directing the construction of St Peter’s Basilica. His Sistine Madonna is one of the most frequently reproduced religious paintings of all time.
Raphael was a tireless learner, for whom there could be no standing still, no repetition of tried and tested solutions, but only the constant forward thrust of an inexhaustible imagination. He transformed his central theme, the visionary experience of divine grace, into visible pictorial reality. It was his mature work in Rome, and above all the frescoes in the Vatican Palace, that secured him his place in art history. Admired even during his own lifetime as the most modern artist of his day, Raphael’s mastery would pave the way for Mannerism and the Baroque era.
This XXL edition is the most comprehensive work published on Raphael. The volume encompasses in total 112 paintings and all the frescoes, architectural projects and tapestries in many new photographs and numerous details, as well as the most extensive catalogue raisonné of the artist’s oeuvre. A team of Raphael experts introduces the reader also to the fascinating interplay of art and power in the High Renaissance.