Raphael was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Raphael has long been considered good enough to be placed in the same respect and regard as the afore mentioned artists, and perhaps he may have even surpassed them, has his life not ended so early.
Famous Raphael paintings include The School of Athens, Madonna and Child, The Adoration of the Magi, The Annunciation, Crucifixion & The Sistine Madonna. Many other paintings are available here from his short but illustrious career.
Raphael was highly admired by his contemporaries, although his influence on artistic style in his own century was less than that of Michelangelo. Raphael’s compositions were always admired and studied, and became the cornerstone of the training of the Academies of art. His period of greatest influence was from the late 17th to late 19th centuries, when his perfect decorum and balance were greatly admired.
In 19th century England the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood explicitly reacted against his influence (and that of his admirers such as “Sir Sploshua”), seeking to return to styles before what they saw as his baneful influence. Interestingly, the pre-raphaelites movement produced some brilliant artists of their own, who have also become respected in their own right.
Raphael is now unchallenged for his brilliance and respected too for his contribution to Italian Renaissance art.