THE liberality with which Heaven now and again unites in one person the inexhaustible riches of its treasures and all those graces and rare gifts which are usually shared among many over a long period is seen in Raphael Sanzio of Urbino, who was as excellent as gracious, and endowed with a natural modesty and goodness sometimes seen in those who possess to an unusual degree a humane and gentle nature adorned with affability and good-fellowship, and he always showed himself sweet and pleasant with persons of every degree and in all circumstances. Thus Nature created Michelagnolo Buonarroti to excel and conquer in art, but Raphael to excel in art and in manners also. Most artists have hitherto displayed something of folly and savagery, which, in addition to rendering them eccentric and fantastical, has also displayed itself in the darkness of vice and not in the splendour of those virtues which render men immortal. In Raphael, on the other hand, the rarest gifts were combined with such grace, diligence, beauty, modesty and good character that they would have sufficed to cover the ugliest vice and the worst blemishes. We may indeed say that those who possess such gifts as Raphael are not mere men, but rather mortal gods, and that those who by their works leave an honoured name among us on the roll of fame may hope to receive a fitting reward in heaven for their labours and their merits.
Raphael was born at Urbino, a most important city of Italy, in 1483, on Good Friday, at three in the morning, of Giovanni de' Santi, a painter of no great merit, but of good intelligence and well able to show his son the right way, a favour which bad fortune had not granted to himself in his youth. Giovanni, knowing how important it was for the child, whom he called Raphael as a good augury, being his only son, to have his mother's milk and not that of a nurse, wished her to suckle it, so that the child might see the ways of his equals in his tender years rather than the rough manners of clowns and people of low condition. When the boy was grown, Giovanni began to teach him painting, finding him much inclined to that art and of great intelligence. Thus Raphael, before many years and while still a child, greatly assisted his father in the numerous works which he did in the state of Urbino. At last this good and loving father perceived that his son could learn little more from him, and determined to put him with Pietro Perugino, who, as I have already said, occupied the first place among the painters of the time. Accordingly Giovanni went to Perugia, and not finding Pietro there he waited for him, occupying the time in doing some things in S. Francesco. When Pietro returned from Rome, 1 Giovanni being courteous and well bred, made his acquaintance, and at a fitting opportunity told him what he wished in the most tactful manner. Pietro, who was also courteous and a friend of young men of promise, agreed to take Raphael. Accordingly Giovanni returned joyfully to Urbino, and took the boy with him to Perugia, his mother, who loved him tenderly, weeping bitterly at the separation. 2 When Pietro had seen Raphael's method of drawing and his fine manners and behaviour, he formed an opinion of him that was amply justified by time. It is well known that while Raphael was studying Pietro's style he imitated him so exactly in everything that his portraits cannot be distinguished from those of his master, nor indeed can other things, as we see in some figures done in oils on a panel in S. Francesco at Perugia for Madonna Maddalena degli Oddi. 3 It represents an Assumption, Jesus Christ crowning the Virgin in heaven, while the twelve Apostles about the tomb are contemplating the celestial glory. The predella contains three scenes: the Annunciation, the Magi adoring Christ, and the Presentation in the Temple. This work is most carefully finished, and anyone not skilled in style would take it to be by the hand of Pietro, though there is no doubt that it is by Raphael. After this Pietro returned on some business to Florence, and Raphael left Perugia, going with some friends to Citta di Castello. Here he did a panel in S. Agostino in that style, and a Crucifixion in S. Domenico, which, if not signed with Raphael's name, would be taken by everyone to be a work of Perugino. In S. Francesco in the same city he also did a Marriage of the Virgin; 4 which shows that Raphael was progressing in skill, refining upon the style of Pietro and surpassing it. This work contains a temple drawn in perspective, so charmingly that it is a wonder to see how he confronted the difficulties of this task. Raphael had thus acquired a great reputation in this style when the library of the Duomo at Siena was allotted by Pope Pius II. to Pinturicchio. 5 As he was a friend of Raphael, and knew him to be an admirable draughtsman, he brought him to Siena, where Raphael drew some of the cartoons for that work. He did not finish it because his love for art drew him to Florence, 6 for he heard great things from some painters of Siena of a cartoon done by Lionardo da Vinci in the Pope's HaIl at Florence of a fine group of horses, to be put in the hall of the palace, and also of some nudes of even greater excellence done by Michelagnolo in competition with Lionardo. This excited so strong a desire in Raphael that he put aside his work and all thought of his personal advantage, for excellence in art always attracted him.
Arrived in Florence, he was no less delighted with the city than with the works of art there, which he thought divine, and he determined to live there for some time. Having struck up a friendship with Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, Aristotele S. Gallo, and other young painters, he was well received, especially by Taddeo Taddei, who was always inviting him to his house and table, being one who loved the society of men of ability. Raphael, who was courtesy itself, in order not to be surpassed in kindness, did two pictures for him in a transitional style between the early manner of Pietro and of the other which he learned afterwards, and which was much better, as I shall relate. These pictures are still in the house of the heirs of Taddeo. 7 Raphael was also very friendly with Lorenzo‚ Nasi, and as Lorenzo had newly taken a wife, he painted him a picture of a babe between the knees of the Virgin, to whom a little St. John is offering a bird, to the delight of both. Their attitude displays childish simplicity and affection, while the picture is well coloured and carefully finished, so that they appear to be actual living flesh. 8 The Madonna possesses an air full of grace and divinity, the plain, the landscape and all the rest of the work being of great beauty. This picture was greatly valued by Lorenzo Nasi in memory of his close friend and for its excellent workmanship. But it was severely damaged on 17 November, 1548, when the house of Lorenzo was crushed, together with the beautiful houses of the heirs of Marco del Nero and many others, by a landslip from Monte S. Giorgio. However, the pieces were found among the debris, and were carefully put together by Battista, Lorenzo's son, who was very fond of the arts. After these works Raphael was forced to leave Florence and go to Urbino, because, owing to the death of his father and mother, all his things were in disorder. While staying there he did two small but very beautiful Madonnas in his second manner for Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, then captain of the Florentines. 9 These are now the property of the illustrious Guidobaldo, "Duke of Urbino. For the same captain he did a sleeping in the distance. This painting is as delicately finished small picture of Christ praying in the Garden, the three Apostles as a miniature. After remaining for a long time in the possession of Francesco Maria, Duke of Urbino, it was given by his illustrious consort, Leonora, to Don Paolo Giustiniano and Don Pietro Quirini, Venetians, hermits of the Camaldoli. They placed it in a principal chamber of the hermitage, as a thing of rare virtue, a work of Raphael, and the gift of so great a lady, and there it is held in the esteem which it merits.
After settling his affairs, Raphael returned to Perugia, where he painted for the Ansidei Chapel, in the church of the Servites, a picture of Our Lady, St. John the Baptist and St. Nicholas. 10 In the Lady Chapel of S. Severo, in the same city, a small Camaldorite monastery, he painted in fresco a Christ in Glory, God the Father surrounded by angels, with six saints seated, three on either side, St. Benedict, St. Romuald, St. Laurence, St. Jerome, St. Maur and St. Placidus. 11 To this fine fresco he put his name in large letters, easily seen. The nuns of S. Antono da Padova, in the same city, employed him to paint a Madonna with a clothed Christ, as they desired, with St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Cecilia and St. Catherine, the heads of the two holy virgins being the sweetest and purest imaginable, with their varied attire, a rare thing in those days. Above this he painted a fine God the Father in a lunette, and three scenes of small figures in the predella of Christ praying in the Garden, bearing the cross, the soldiers driving Him being very vigorous, and dead in the lap of His Mother. 12 This is a marvellous work, greatly valued by the nuns and much admired by all artists. It is well known that after his stay in Florence Raphael greatly altered and improved his style, through having seen the works of the foremost masters; and he never reverted to his former manner, which looks like the work of a different and inferior hand.
Before Raphael left Perugia, Madonna Atalanta Baglioni begged him to do a panel for her chapel in the church of S. Francesco. But not being able to do so then, he promised that he would not fail her when he returned from Florence, vhere he had affairs. At Florence he devoted infinite pains to the study of his art, and did the cartoon for this chapel, intending to carry it out as soon as he had the opportunity, as he did. Agnolo Doni was then in Florence, and though sparing in other things, spent willingly upon paintings and sculpture, of which he was very fond, though he saved as much as he could. He had portraits of himself and his wife done, 13 which may be seen in the house of his son Gio. Battista, built by Agnolo, a fine structure and most convenient in the Corso de' Tintori, near the corner of the Alberti in Florence. For Domenico Canigiani Raphael did a Madonna with the Child Jesus playing with a St. John held to him by St. Elizabeth, who is regarding St. Joseph, leaning with both hands on a staff and bending his head towards Elizabeth, as if marvelling and praising the greatness of God that so old a woman should have a little child. 14 All of them seem to be marvelling at the attitude of the children as they play, one reverencing the other, the colouring of the heads, hands and feet being faultless, and the work of a master. This noble picture is now the property of the heirs of Dolnenico Canigiani, who value it as a work of Raphael deserves.
This excellent artist studied the old paintings of Masaccio at Florence, and the works of Lionardo and Michelagnolo which he saw induced him to study hard, and brought about an extraordinary improvement in his art and style. While at Florence Raphael became very friendly with Fri Bartolommeo of S. Marco, whose colouring pleased him greatly, arid this he tried to imitate. On his part he taught the good father the methods of perspective, which he had previously neglected. In the midst of this intimacy Raphael was recalled to Perugia, where he began by finishing the work for Atalanta Baglioni, for which he had prepared the cartoon at Florence, as I have said. This divine picture represents Christ carried to burial, so finely done that it seems freshly executed. 15 In composing this work Raphael imagined the grief of loving relations in carrying to burial the body of their dearest, the one on whom all the welfare, honour and advantage of the entire family depended. Our Lady is fainting, and the heads of the figures in weeping are most graceful, especially that of St. John, who hangs his head and clasps his hands in a manner that would move the hardest to pity. Those who consider the diligence, tenderness, art and grace of this painting may well marvel, for it excites astonishment by the expressions of the figures, the beauty of the draperies, and the extreme excellence of every particular.
On returning to Florence after completing this work, Raphael was commissioned by the Dei, citizens there, to paint a picture for the chapel of their altar in S. Spirito. 16 He began this and made good progress with the outline. Meanwhile he did a picture 17 to send to Siena, which at his departure he left to Ridolfo del Ghirlandajo to finish some blue drapery in it. This was because Bramante, who was in the service of Julius II., wrote to him on account of a slight relationship, and because they were of the same country, saying that he had induced the Pope to have certain apartments done, and that Raphael might have a chance of showing his powers there. This pleased Raphael so that he left his works at Florence and the picture of the Dei unfinished (but so far complete that M. Baldassarre da Pescia had it put in the Pi eve of his native place after Raphael's death), and went to Rome. 18 Arrived there, Raphael found a great part of the chambers of the palace already painted, and the whole being done by several masters. Thus Pietro della Francesca had finished one scene, Luca da Cortona had completed a wall, while Don Pietro della Gatta, abbot of S. Clemente, Arezzo, had begun some things. Bramantino da Milano also had painted several figures, mostly portraits, and considered very fine. Raphael received a hearty welcome from Pope Julius, and in the chamber of the Segnatura he painted the theologians reconciling Philosophy and Astrology with Theology, including portraits of all the wise men of the world in disputation. 19 Some astrologers there have drawn figures of their science and various characters on tablets, carried by angels to the Evangelists, who explain them. Among these is Diogenes with a pensive air, lying on the steps, a figure admirable for its beauty and the disordered drapery. There also are Aristotle and Plato, with the Ethics and Tim-us respectively, and a group of philosophers in a ring about them. Indescribably fine are those astrologers and geometricians drawing figures and characters with their sextants. Among them is a youth of remarakble beauty with his arms spread in astonishment and head bent. This is a portrait of Federigo II., Duke of Mantua, who was then in Rome. Another figure bends towards the ground, holding a pair of compasses in his hand and turning them on a board. This is said to be a life-like portrait of Bramante the architect. The next figure, with his back turned and a globe in his hand is a portrait of Zoroaster. Beside him is Raphael himself, drawn with the help of a mirror. He is a very modest looking young man, of graceful and pleasant mien, wearing a black cap on his head. The beauty and excellence of the heads of the Evangelists are inexpressible, as he has given them an air of attention and carefulness which is most natural, especially in those who are writing. Behind St. Matthew, as he is copying the characters from tablets, held by an angel, is an old man with paper on his knees copying what Matthew dictates. As he stands in that uncomfortable position, he seems to move his lips and head to follow the pen. The minor considerations, which are numerous, are well thought out, and the composition of the entire scene, which is admirably portioned out, show Raphael's determination to hold the field, without a rival, against all who wielded the brush. He further adorned this work with a perspective and many figures, so delicately and finely finished that Pope Julius caused all the other works of the other masters, both old and new, to be destroyed, that Raphael alone might have the glory of replacing what had been done. Although the work of Gio Antonio Sodoma of Vercelli, which was above the scene of Raphael's, was to have been destroyed by the Pope's order, Raphael decided to make use of its arrangement and of the grotesques. In each of the four circles he made an allegorical figure to point the significance of the scene beneath, towards which it turns. For the first, where he had painted Philosophy, Astrology, Geometry and Poetry agreeing with Theology, is a woman representing Knowledge, seated in a chair supported on either side by a goddess Cybele, with the numerous breasts ascribed by the ancients to Diana Polymastes. Her garment is of four colours, representing the four elements, her head being the colour of fire, her bust that of air, her thighs that of earth, and her legs that of water. Some beautiful children are with her. In another circle towards the window looking towards the Belvedere is Poetry in the person of Polyhymnia, crowned with laurel, holding an ancient instrument in one hand and a book ‚in the other. Her legs are crossed, the face having an expression of immortal beauty, the eyes being raised to heaven. By her are two children, full of life and movement, harmonising well with her and the others. On this side Raphael afterwards did the Mount Pamasstis 20 above the window already mentioned. In the circle over the scene where the holy doctors are ordering Mass is Theology with books and other things about her, and children of no less beauty than the others. Over the window looking into the court, in another circle, he did Justice with -her scales and naked sword, with similar children of the utmost beauty, because on the wall underneath he had represented civil and canon law, as I shall relate. On the same vaulting, at the comers, he did four scenes, designed and coloured with great diligence, though the figures are not large. In one of them, next the Theology, he did the sin of Adam in eating the apple, in a graceful style. In the one where Astrology is, he represented that science putting the fixed and moving stars in their appointed places. In the one of Mount Parnassus he did Marsyas Rayed at a tree by Apollo; and next the scene of the giving of the Decretals is Judgment of Solomon. These four scenes are full of feeling and expression, executed with great diligence in beautiful and graceful colouring.
I must now relate what was done on the walls below. On the wall towards the Belvedere, containing the Mount Parnassus and Fountain of Helicon, he made a shady laurel grove about the mount, so that the trembling of the leaves in the soft air can almost be seen, while a number of naked cupids, with lovely faces, are floating above, holding laurel branches, of which they make garlands and scatter them over the mount. The beauty of the figures and the nobility of the painting breathe a truly divine afflatus, and cause those who examine them to marvel that they should be the work of a human mind, through the imperfect medium of colours; and that the excellence of the design should make them appear alive. The poets scattered about the mountain are remarkable in this respect, some standing and some writing, others talking, and others singing or conversing in groups of four or six according to the disposition. Here are portraits of all the most famous poets, both ancient and modern, taken partly from statues, partly from medals, and many from old pictures, while others were living. Here we see Ovid, Virgil, Ennius, Tibullus, Catullus, Propertius and Homer, holding up his blind head and singing verses, while at his feet is one writing. Here in a group are the nine Muses, with Apollo, breathing realities of wonderful beauty and grace. Here are the learned Sappho, the divine Dante, the delicate Petrarca, the amorous Boccacio, all full of life; Tibaldeo is there also, and numerous other moderns, the whole scene being done with exquisite grace and finished with care. On another wall he did Heaven, with Christ and the Virgin, St. John the Baptist, the Apostles, Evangelists, martyrs in the clouds, with God the Father above sending out the Holy Spirit over a number of saints who subscribe to the Mass and argue upon the Host which is on the altar. Among them are the four Doctors of the Church, surrounded by saints, including Dominic, Francis, Thomas Aquinas Bonaventura, Scotus, Nicholas of Lyra, Dante, Fra Girolamo Savonarola of Ferrara, and all the Christian theologians, including a number of portraits. In the air are four children holding open the Gospels, and it would be impossible for any painter to produce figures of more grace and perfection than these. The saints in a group in the air seem alive, and are remarkable for the foreshortening and relief. Their draperies also are varied and very beautiful, and the heads rather celestial than human, especially that of Christ, displaying all the clemency and pity which divine painting can demonstrate to mortal man. Indeed, Raphael had the gift of rendering his heads sweet and gracious, as we see in a Madonna with her hands to her breast contemplating the Child, who looks incapable of refusing a favour. Raphael appropriately rendered his patriarchs venerable, his apostles simple, and his matryrs full of faith. But he showed much more art and genius in the holy Christian doctors, disputing in groups of six, three and two. Their faces show curiosity and their effort to establish, the certainty of which they are in doubt, using their hands in arguing and certain gestures of the body, attentive ears, knit brows, and many different kinds of astonishment, various and appropriate. On the other hand, the four Doctors of the Church, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, solve, by means of the Holy Scriptures, all the questions of the Gospels, which are held by children flying in the air. On the other wall, containing the other window, he did Justinian giving laws to the doctors, who correct them; above are Temperance, Fortitude and Prudence. On the other side the Pope being a portrait of Julius II., while Giovanni de' Medici the cardinal, afterwards Pope Leo, Cardinal Antonio di Monte, and Cardinal Alessandro Famese, afterwards Pope Paul III., are also present, with other portraits. The Pope was greatly delighted with this work, and in order to have woodwork of equal value to the paintings, he sent for Fra Giovanni of Verona from Monte Oliveto of Chiusuri, in the Siena territory, then a great master in marquetry. He not only did the wainscoting, but the fine doors and seats with perspectives, which won him favour, rewards and honours from the Pope. Certainly no one was ever more skilful in design and workmanship in that profession than Giovanni, as we see by the admirable perspectives in wood in the sacristy of S. Maria in Organo in his native Verona, the choir of Monte Oliveto di Chiusuri and that of S. Benedetto at Siena, as well as the sacristy of Monte Oliveto of Naples, and the choir in the chapel of Paolo di Tolosa there. Thus he deserves to be held in honour by his order, in which he died at the age of sixty-eight in 1537. I have mentioned him as a man of true excellence, because 21 think his ability deserves it, for he induced other masters to make many rare works subsequently, as I shall say elsewhere.
But to return to Raphael. His style improved so greatly that the Pope entrusted to him the second chamber towards the great hall. His reputation had now become very great, and at this time he painted a portrait of Pope Julius in oils so wonderfully life-like and true that it inspired fear as if it were alive. This work is now in S. Maria del Popolo, 22 with a fine painting of Our Lady done at the same time, and containing a Nativity of Christ, the Virgin covering the Child with a veil. This is of great beauty, the air of the head and of the whole body showing the Child to be the veritable Son of God. The head and face of the Madonna are of equal beauty, and also display her joy and pity. Joseph leans with both hands on a staff in pensive contemplation of the King and Queen of Heaven, in the wonder of a most holy old man. Both these pictures are shown on solemn festivals.
At this time Raphael had acquired great renown at Rome. But although his graceful style commanded the admiration of all, and he continually studied the numerous antiquities in the city, he‚had not as yet endowed his figures with the grandeur and majesty which he imparted to them henceforward.
It happened at this time that Michelagnolo caused the Pope so much upset and alarm in the chapel, of which I shall speak in his Life, whereby he was forced to fly to Florence. Bramante had the keys of the chapel, and, being friendly with Raphael, he showed him Michelagnolo's methods so that he might understand them. This at once led Raphael to do over again the Prophet Isaiah in S. Agostino above the St. Anne of Andrea Sansovino, which he had just finished. Aided by what he had seen of Michelagnolo, he greatly improved and enlarged the figure, endowing it with more majesty. When Michelagnolo saw it afterwards he concluded that Bramante had played him this bad turn to benefit Raphael. Not long after, Agostino Chisi, a wealthy merchant of Siena and patron of men of genius, allotted to Raphael a chapel, because shortly before he had painted in the sweetest manner, in a loggia of the merchant's palace, now called Chisi in Trastevere, a Galatea in the sea on car drawn by two dolphins, surrounded by tritons and many sea gods. 23 After making a cartoon for this chapel, which is on the right-hand on entering the principal door of the church of S. Maria della Pace, Raphael carried it out in fresco in a new style, considerably finer and more magnificent than his first. Here he did some prophets and sibyls, before the chapel of Michelagnolo was opened publicly, though he had seen it, which are considered the best of his works and the most beautiful among so many others, because the women and children are represented with great vivacity and perfect colouring. This work established his renown for ever, as being the most excellent that he produced in his life. At the prayers of a chamberlain of Julius 24 he painted the picture of the high altar of Araceli, representing Our Lady in the air, a beautiful landscape, St. John, St. Francis and St. Jerome as a cardinal. Our Lady shows the humility and modesty proper to the Mother of Christ, the Child is very prettily playing with his Mother's cloak. St. John shows the effect of fasting, his head expressive of great sincerity and absolute certainty, like those who are far removed from the world, who speak the truth and hate falsehood. St. Jerome raises his head and eyes to Our Lady in contemplation, indicative of the learning and wisdom displayed in his writings; with both hands he is presenting the chamberlain, who is very life-like. Raphael was equally successful with his St. Francis, who kneels on the ground with one arm t‚stretched out, and with his head raised he regards the burning with love and emotion, his features and the colouring showing his consuming love and the comfort and life which he derives from regarding her beauty and that of the Child. Raphael did a boy standing in the middle of the picture under the Virgin, looking up to her and holding a tablet. For his beautiful face and well-proportioned limbs he cannot be surpassed. Besides this there is a landscape of remarkable perfection and beauty. Continuing the rooms in the palace, Raphael did the miracle of the Sacraiment of the Corporale of Orvieto, or Bolsena, as it is ealled. 25 We see the priest blushing with shame in saying Mass at seeing the Host melted into blood on the Corporale owing to his incredulity. Fear is in his eyes, and he seems beside himself in the presence of his auditors, as he stands irresolute. His hands tremble, and he shows other signs of terror natural on such an occasion. About him are many varied figures, some serving the Mass, some kneeling on the steps in beautiful attitudes, astonished at the event, showing the many various effects of the same emotion, both in the men and women. 26 There is one woman seated on the ground in the lower part of the scene, holding a child in her arms. She turns in wonder at hearing someone speak of what has happened to the priest with a very charming and vivacious feminine grace.
On the other side Raphael represented Pope Julius hearing the Mass, introducing the portrait of the cardinal of S. Giorgio and many others. In the part interrupted by the window he introduced a flight of steps, shown entire, so that the story is uninterrupted, and it seems that if this gap had not been there the scene would have suffered. Thus we see that in inventing and composing scenes no one ever excelled Raphael in arrangement and skill. This appears opposite in the came place where St. Peter is represented guarded in prison by armed men, by Herod's order. 27 Here his architecture and his discretion in treating the prison are such that beside him the work of others seem more confused than his are beautiful, for he always endeavoured to follow the narrative in his scenes and introduce beautiful things. Thus, for example, in the horrible prison we see the aged Peter chained between two armed men, the heavy sleep of the guards, the shining splendour of the angel in the darkness of the night, showing all the details of the cell and making the armour glisten so that it appears to be burnished and not a painted representation. No less art and genius is displayed in the scene where Peter leaves the prison, freed from his chains, accompanied by the angel, the Apostle's face showing that he believes himself to be dreaming. The other armed guards outside the prison are terror-stricken as they hear the sound of the iron door. A sentinel holds a torch in his right hand, the light of which is reflected in all the armour, and where this does not fall there is moonlight. Raphael did this above the window, and thus makes the wall darker. But in looking at the picture, the painted light and the various lights of the night seem due to Nature, so that we fancy we see the smoke of the torch, the splendour of the angel, and the deep darkness of the night, so natural and true that it is hard to believe they are only painted, where every difficult thing that he has imagined is so finely presented. Here in the darkness we see the outlines of the armour, the shading, the reflections, the effects of the heat of the lights, showing Raphael to be the master of the other painters. No better representation of the night has ever been made, this being considered the divinest and most remarks He of all. On one of the bare walls Raphael further did the Divine worship, the ark of the Hebrews and the candlestick, and Pope Julius driving Avarice from the church, scenes of beauty and excellence like the night just mentioned. They contain portraits of the bearers then living, who are carrying the Pope in a chair, for whom some men and women make way to allow him to pass. 28 An armed man on horseback, accompanied by two on foot, is fiercely striking the proud Heliodorus, who, by the command of Antiochus, intended to despoil the Temple of all the deposits of widows and orphans. We see the property and treasures being taken away, but all thrown to the ground and scattered at the fall of Heliodorus, beaten to the earth by the three, whom he alone sees, those engaged in carrying them being seized with sudden terror like all the other followers of Heliodorus. Apart from these kneels the High Priest Onias in his pontifieals, his eyes and hands turned to heaven in fervent prayer, filled with compassion for the poor who are losing their possessions, and with joy at the succour sent by Heaven. By a happy idea of Raphael the plinths of the pedestals are filled with many who have climbed up by the columns, and are looking on in their uneasy postures, while the astonished multitude, in various attitudes, is awaiting the event. This work 29 is so marvellous in every particular that even the cartoons for it are greatly prized. Some parts of them belong to M. Francesco Masini, a nobleman of Cesena, who, without the help of any Masters but guided from his childhood by an extraordinary natural instinct, has himself studied painting and produced pictures which are much admired by connoisseurs. These cartoons are among his designs with some ancient reliefs in marble, and are valued by him as they deserve. I must add that M. Niccolo Masini, who has supplied me with these particulars, is a genuine admirer of our arts as he is distinguished in every other particular.
But to return to Raphael. In the vaulting of this chamber he did four scenes: the appearance of God to Abraham, promising the multiplication of his seed, the sacrifice of Isaac, Jacob's ladder, and the burning bush of Moses, displaying no less art, invention, design and grace than in his other works. While he was engaged in producing these marvels, envious Fortune deprived Julius II. of his life, removing that patron of talent and admirer of every good thing. On Leo X. succeeding 30 he wished the work to be continued. Raphael's abilities ascended to the heavens, and he was much gratified at meeting so great a prince, who inherited the love of his family for the arts. Accordingly he was heartened to continue the work, and on the other wall did the coming of Attila to Rome, and his meeting with Leo III. at the foot of Monte Mario, and being driven away with a simple benediction. In the air are St. Peter and St. Paul with drawn swords coming to defend the Church. Although the history of Leo III. does not relate this, ‚the artist no doubt wished it to be 50, just as the poets often introduce some fresh matter to their work as an ornament, and yet do not depart from the main idea. The Apostles show a valour and celestial Aardour that the divine judgment often puts into the faces of its servants to defend the most holy religion. Attila, mounted on a black horse of the utmost beauty with a white star on his forehead, betrays great fear in his face as he takes to flight. There are other very fine horses, notably a dappled Spanish jennet, ridden by a man whose bare parts are covered with scales like a fish. He is copied from Trajan's Column, where the men are armed in this Way, and it is supposed to be made of crocodile skin. Monte Mario is burning, showing that on the departure of soldiers their quarters are always left in flames. Raphael also drew some mace-bearers accompanying the Pope, who are very life-like, and the horses they ride, with the court of the cardinals and other bearers, holding the Hackney, upon which the man in pontificals is mounted, who is a portrait of Leo X., as fine as the others, and many courtiers. This is a truly charming thing, thus adapted to such a work, and most useful to our art, especially for those who delight in such things. At the same time Raphael did a panel for Naples which was placed in S. Domenico in the chapel containing the crucifix which spoke to St. Thomas Aquinas. It represents the Virgin, 31 St. Jerome dressed as a cardinal, and the Angel Raphael accompanying Tobias. He did a picture for Leonello da Carpi, lord of Meldola, who is still alive, though over ninety. This was a marvel of colouring and of singular beauty, being executed with vigour and of such delicate loveliness that I do not think it can be improved upon. The face of the Madonna expresses divinity and her attitude modesty. With joined hands she adores her Child, who sits on her knees and is caressing a little St. John, who adores him, as do St. Elizabeth and Joseph. This picture belonged to the Cardinal di Carpi, son of Leonello, a distinguished patron of the arts, and it must now be in the possession of his heirs. When Lorenzo Pucci, cardinal of Sante Quattro, was appointed chief penancer, Raphael obtained a commission from him to do a picture for S. Giovanni in Monte at Bologna. It is now placed in the chapel containing the body of the Blessed Elena dall' Olio. 32 In this work we see the full power of the delicate grace of Raphael joined to art. St. Cecilia listens entranced to a choir of angels in heaven, absorbed by the music. Her face is abstracted like one in an ecstasy, on the ground musical instruments are scattered, which look real and not painted, as do her veil and vestments of cloth of gold and silk, with a marvellous haircloth beneath. St. Paul rests his right arm on a naked sword and hid head on his hand, showing his knowledge and his fiery nature turned to gravity. He is bare-footed and dressed like an apostle in a simple red mantle, with a green tunic beneath. St. Mary Magdalene lightly holds a vase of precious stone in her hand, and turns her head in joy at her conversion; these are of unsurpassable beauty, and so are the heads of St. Augustine and St. John the Evangelist. While we may term other works paintings, those of Raphael are living things; the flesh palpitates, the breath comes and goes, every organ lives, life pulsates everywhere, and so this picture added considerably to his reputation. Thus many verses were written in his honour in the vulgar and Latin tongues. I will quote the following only, not to make my story too long:
Pingant sola alii referantque coloribus ora Coeciliae os Raphael atque animum explicuit.
After this Raphael did a small picture of little figures, also at Bologna, in the house of Count Vincenzio Ercolani, containing Christ, as Jove, in heaven, surrounded by the four Evangelists as described by Ezekiel, one like a man, one as a lion, one as an eagle and one as an ox, with a landscape beneath, 33 no less beautiful for its scale than the large works. To the counts of Canossa at Verona he sent a large picture of equal excellence of Nativity, with a much admired Dawn, and a St. Anne. Indeed, the whole work is fine, and to say that it is by Raphael is to bestow the highest praise, and it is greatly prized by the counts. Though offered great sums by many princes they have refused to part with it. For Bindo Altoviti Raphael did his portrait as a young man, 34 considered most wonderful. He also did a picture of the Virgin, which he sent to Florence. 35 This is now in the palace of Duke Cosimo in the chapel of the new apartments built and painted by myself, where it serves as the altarpiece. It represents an aged St. Anne seated, offering the Christ-child to the Virgin, the baby being a beautiful nude figure with a lovely face that gladdens all beholders by its smile. Raphael in painting this Madonna shows with what beauty art can endow the aspect of a Virgin, with her modest eyes, her noble forehead, her graceful nose and her virtuous mouth, while her dress displays the utmost simplicity and virtue. Indeed, I do not think a better can be seen. There is a nude St. John, seated, and a very beautiful female saint. The background is a house with a window lighting the room in which the figures are. At Rome Raphael did a picture with the portraits of Pope Leo, Cardinal Giulio de' Medici and the Cardinal de' Rossi. 36 The figures seem to stand out in relief; the velvet shows its texture, the damask on the Pope is shining and lustrous, the fur lining soft and real, and the gold and silk look like the actual materials and not colours. There is the illuminated parchment book, of remarkable realism, and a bell of chased silver of indescribable beauty. Among other things is the burnished gold ball of the seat, reflecting, such is its clearness, the lights of the windows, the Pope's back, and the furniture of the room like a mirror, so wonderfully done that it would seem that no master can improve upon it. For this work the Pope largely rewarded him, and the picture is still in Florence in the duke's wardrobe. He also painted Duke Lorenzo and Duke Giuliano as finely as these, with equal grace in the colouring. These are in the possession of the heirs of Ottaviano de' Medici in Florence. Thus the glory and the rewards of Raphael increased together. To leave a memory of himself he built a palace in the Borgo Nuovo at Rome, decorated with stucco by Bramante.
By these and other works the fame of Raphael spread to France and Flanders. Albert Durer, a remarkable German painter and author of some fine copper engravings, paid him the tribute of his homage and sent him his own portrait, painted in water-colours, on cambric, so fine that it was transparent, without the use of white paint, the white material forming the lights of the picture This appeared marvellous to Raphael, who sent back many drawings of his own which were greatly valued by Albert. This head was among the things of Giulio Romano, Raphael's heir, in Mantua.
Having seen the engravings of Albert Durer, Raphael was anxious to show what he could do in that art, and caused Marco Antonio of Bologna to study the method. He succeeded so well that he had his first things engraved: the Innocents, a Last Supper, a Neptune, the St. Cecilia 37 boiled in oil. Marco Antonio then did a number of prints which Raphael afterwards gave to Baviera, his boy, who had the charge of one of hid mistresses whom Raphael loved until his death He made a beautiful life-like portrait of her which is now in Florence in the possession of the most noble Botti, a Florentine merchant, the friend and intimate of all distinguished men, especially painters He keeps it as a reminder of his love for art and especially of Raphael. His brother Simone Botti is not behind him in his love of art, and besides his reputation among artists as one of the best patrons of their profession, he is especially esteemed by me as the best friend I have ever had, while he possesses a good artistic judgment.
But to return to engravings. The favour of Raphael to II Baviera quickened the hand of Marco da Ravenna so that copper engravings from being scarce became as plentiful as we now see them. Then Ugo da Carpi, a man whose head was full of ingenious ideas and fancies, discovered wood engraving, so that by three impressions he obtained the light and the shade of chiaroscuro sketches, a very beautiful and ingenious invention. Quantities of these prints may now be seen, as I shall relate more in detail, in the Life of Marco Antonio of Bologna: For the monastery of Palermo, called S. Maria dello Spasmo, of the friars of Monte Oliveto, Raphael did Christ bearing the Cross, which is considered marvellous, seeing the cruelty of the executioners leading Him to death on Mount Calvary with fierce rage. 38 The Christ in his grief and pain at the approach of death has fallen through the weight of the cross, and, bathed in sweat and blood, turns towards the Maries, who are weeping bitterly. Here Veronica is stretching out her hand and offering the handkerchief with an expression of deep love. The work is full of armed men on horse and foot, who issue from the gate of Jerusalem with the standards of justice in their hands, in varied and fine attitudes. When this picture was finished, but not set up in its place, it was nearly lost, because on its way by sea to Palermo a terrible storm overtook the ship, which was broken on a rock, and the men and merchandise all perished, except this picture, which was washed up at Genoa in its case. When it was fished out and landed it was found to be a divine work, and proved to be uninjured, for even the fury of the winds and waves respected such painting. When the news had spread, the monks hastened to claim it, and no sooner was it restored to them through the influence of the Pope than they handsomely rewarded those who had saved it. It was again sent by ship, and was set up in Palermo, where it is more famous than the mountain of Vulcan. While Raphael was at work on these things, which he had to do, since it was for great and distinguished persons, and he could not decline them in his own interest, he nevertheless continued his work in the Pope's chambers and halls, where he kept men constantly employed in carrying on the work from his designs, while he supervised the whole, giving assistance as he well knew how. It vas not long before he uncovered the chamber of the Borgia tower. On every wall he painted a scene, two above the windows and two others on the sides. During a fire in the Borgo Vecchio at Rome, which could not be put out, St. Leo IV. had gone to the loggia of the palace and extinguished it with a benediction. This scene represents various perils. In one part we see women whose hair and clothes are blown about by the fury of the wind, as they carry water to extinguish the fire in vessels in their hands and on their heads. Others endeavouring to cast water are blinded by the smoke. On the other side is a sick old man, beside himself with infirmity and the conflagration, borne as Virgil describes 39 Anchises to have been borne by Aeneas, the youth showing his spirit and putting out his strength to carry his burden. A lean, bare-footed old woman follows them, fleeing from the fire, with a naked child before them. From the top of some ruins is a naked, dishevelled woman, who throws her child to one who has escaped from the flames and stands on tip-toe in the street, with arms stretched out to receive the little one in its swaddling-clothes. The desire of the woman to save the child and her own fear of the approaching fire are well depicted, while the one receiving the child is disturbed by fear for his own safety while anxious to save his charge. Equally remarkable is a mother, dishevelled and ragged, with some clothes in her hand, who beats her children to make them run faster from the fire. Some women kneeling before the Pope seem to be begging him to cause the fire to cease.
The other scene is also of St. Leo IV., where he has represented the port of Ostia, occupied by the Turks, who came to make him prisoner. We see the Christians fighting the fleet at sea, a number of prisoners already taken to the port, coming out of a boat, led by soldiers by the beard, the attitudes being very fine. In their varying costumes they are led by galley-slaves before St. Leo, who is a portrait of Leo X., the Pope standing in his pontificals between Bernardo Divizio of Bibbiena, the Cardinal S. Maria in Portico, and Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, afterwards Pope Clement. I cannot relate at length the numerous fine devices employed by the artist in representing the prisoners, and how, without speech, he represents grief, fear and death. There are two other scenes, one 40 of Leo X. consecrating the Most Christian King Francis I. of France, singing the Mass in his pontificals and blessing the anointing oil, with a number of cardinals and bishops in pontificals assisting, including the portraits of several ambassadors and others, some dressed in the French fashion of the time. The other scene is the coronation of the king, the Pope and Francis being portraits, the one in armour and the other in pontificals. All the cardinals, bishops, chamberlains, squires, grooms of the chamber, are in their robes, and seated according to rank, after the custom of the chapel, and are portraits, including Giannozzo Pandolfini, bishop of Troyes, a great friend of Raphael, and many other noted men of the time. Near the king is a boy kneeling and holding the royal crown. This is a portrait of Lppolito de' Medici, who afterwards became cardinal and vice-chancellor, and a great friend of the arts and other talents. To his memory I acknowledge my indebtedness, for it is to him that I owe my start on my career, such as it has been. I cannot enter into every minute detail concerning the productions of this artist whose very silence is like speech. Beneath these scenes are figures of the defenders and benefactors of the Church each surrounded by a different border and everything carried out with spirit, expression and good ideas, with a harmony of colours that cannot be described. As the vaulting of this room was painted by Pietro Perugino, his master, Raphael would not efface it, from respect for the memory of him who had taught him the first elements of his art.
Such was the greatness of this man that he kept draughts men in all Italy, at Pozzuolo, and as far as Greece, to procure everything of value to assist his art. Continuing his series, he did a room with some figures on the ground-level of apostles and saints in tabernacles, and employed Giovanni da Udine, his pupil, unique in drawing animals, to do all the animals of Pope Leo: a chameleon, the civet cats, apes, parrots, lions, elephants, and other curious creatures. He further decorated the palace with grotesques and varied pavements, designing the papal staircases and other loggia begun by Bramante the architect, but left unfinished at his death. Raphael followed a new design of his own, and made a wooden model on a larger scale and more ornate than Bramante's. As Pope Leo wished to display his magnificence and generosity, Raphael prepared the designs for the stucco ornaments and the scenes painted there, as well as of the borders. He appointed Giovanni da Udine head of the stucco and grotesque work, and Giuliano da Romano of the figures, though he did little work on them. Gio. Francesco, 41 also Il Bologna, Perino del Vaga, Pellegrino da Modana, Vincenzio da S. Gimignano, and Polidoro da Caravaggio, with many other painters, did scenes and figures and other things for that work, which Raphael finished with such perfection that he sent to Florence for a pavement by Luca della Robbia. Certainly no finer work can be conceived, with its paintings, stucco, disposition and inventions. It led to Raphael's appointment as superintendent of all works of painting and architecture done in the palace. It is said that his courtesy was so great that the builders, to allow him to accommodate his friends, did not make the walls solid, but left openings above the old rooms in the basement, where they might store casks, pipes and firewood. These openings enfeebled the base of the structure, so that it became necessary to fill them up owing to the cracks which began to show. For the gracefully finished inlaid work of the doors and wainscoting of these rooms Raphael employed Gian Barile, a clever woodcarver. He prepared architectural designs for the Pope's villa, and for several houses in the Borgo, notably the palace of M. Gio. Battista dall' Aquila, which was very beautiful. He did another for the bishop of Troyes in the via di S. Gallo in Florence. For the black monks of S. Sisto at Piacenza he did the high-altar picture representing the Madonna, with St. Sixtus and St. Barbara, a rare and unique work. 42 He did many pictures for France, notably a St. Michael fighting the devil, 43 for the king, considered marvellous. He represented the centre of the earth by a half-burned rock, from the fissures of which issue flames of fire and sulphur. Lucifer, whose burned members are coloured several tints, exhibits his rage and his poisoned and inflated pride against Him who has cast him down, and his realisation of his doom of eternal punishment. Michael, on the other hand, is of celestial aspect, in armour of iron and gold, courageous and strong, having already overthrown Lucifer, at whom he aims his spear. In fine, this work deserved a rich reward from the king. He drew portraits of Beatrice of Ferrara and other ladies, including his own mistress.
Raphael was very amorous, and fond of women, and was always swift to serve them. Possibly his friends showed him too much complaisance in the matter. Thus, when Agostino Chigi, his close friend, employed him to paint the first loggia in his palace, Raphael neglected the work for one of his mistresses. Agostino, in despair, had the lady brought to his house to live in the part where Raphael was at work, contriving this with difficulty by the help of others. That is why the work was completed. Raphael did all the cartoons of this work, and coloured many figures in fresco with his own hand. In the vaulting he did the council of the gods in heaven, introducing forms and costumes borrowed from the antique, with refined grace and design. Thus he did the espousal of Psyche, with the ministers who serve Jove, and the Graces scattering flowers. In the lower part of the vaulting he did many scenes, including Mercury with the flute, who seems to be cleaving the sky in his flight. In another, Jove, with celestial dignity, is kissing Ganymede. Beneath is the chariot of Venus and Mercury, and the Graces taking Psyche to heaven, with many other poetical scenes. In the arched space between the corbels he did a number of cherubs, beautifully foreshortened, carrying the implements of the gods in their flight: the thunderbolts and arrows of Jove, the helm et, sword and target of Mars, the hammers of Vulcan, the club and lion's skin of Hercules, the wand of Mercury, the pipe of Pan, the agricultural rakes of Vertumnus, all with animals appropriate to their nature, a truly beautiful painting and poem. As a border to these scenes he caused Giovanni da Udine to make flowers, leaves and fruits in festoons, which could not be better. He designed the architecture of the stables of the Ghigi, and Agostino's chapel in the church of S. Maria del Popolo, where, besides the painting, he designed a marvellous tomb, directing Lorenzetto, a sculptor of Florence, to make two figures, which are still in his house in the Macello de' Corbi at Rome; but the death of Raphael, followed by that of Agostino, led to the work being given to Sebastiano Viniziano.
Raphael had become so great that Leo X. ordained that he should begin the large upper hall, containing the Victories of Constantine, which he began. The Pope also desired to have rich tapestry hangings of gold and silk. For these Raphael made large coloured cartoons of the proper size, all with his own hand, which were sent to weavers in Flanders,' and, when finished, the tapestries came to Rome. 44 The work is so marvellously executed that it excites the wonder of those who see it that such things as hair and beards and delicate flesh-colouring can be woven work. It is certainly a miracle rather than a production of human art, containing, as it does, water, animals, buildings, all so well done that they seem the work of the brush and not of the loom. It cost 70,000 crowns, and is still preserved in the papal chapel. For the Cardinal Colonna Raphael did a St. John' on canvas, greatly prized by its owner, who, falling sick, gave it to the physician who healed him, M. Jacopo da Carpi, feeling under a great obligation, and it is now in Florence in the hands of Francesco Benintendi. For Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, the vice-chancellor, he painted the Transfiguration, to be sent to France. He worked steadily at this with his own hands, bringing it to its final completion. It represents Christ transfigured on Mount Tabor with the eleven disciples at the foot, awaiting their Master. A boy possessed by a devil is brought so that Christ when he has come down from the mount may release him. The sufferings of this boy through the malignity of the spirit are apparent in his flesh, veins and pulse, as he thrusts himself forward in a contorted attitude, shouting and turning up his eyes, while his pallor renders the gesture unnatural and alarming. An old man is embracing and supporting him, his eyes shining, his brows raised, and his forehead knit, showing at once his resolution and fear. He steadily regards the Apostles, as if to derive courage from them. A woman there, the principal figure of the picture, kneels in front of the Apostles, and is turning her head towards them, while she points out the misery of the boy possessed. The Apostles, standing, sitting and kneeling, show their great compassion for this great misfortune. Indeed, the figures and heads are of extraordinary beauty, and so new and varied that artists have commonly reputed this work the most renowned the most beautiful and the most divine. Whoever wishes to imagine and realise the transfiguration of Christ should examine this work, where the Lord is in the shining air, with Moses and Elias illuminated by His splendour. Prostrate on the ground is Peter, James and John in varied and beautiful attitudes. One has his head on the ground, one shades his eyes with his hands from the rays of light of the splendour of Christ, who, clothed in snow white, opens His arms and lifts His head, showing the Divine Essence of the three persons of the Trinity thus displayed in the perfection of Raphael's art. 45 The artist seems to have gathered all his force to worthily present the face of Christ, which was the last thing he did, as death overtook him before he again took up the brush.
Having hitherto described the works of this great man, I will make some observations on his style for the benefit of our artists, before I come to the other particulars of his life and death. In his childhood Raphael imitated the style of Pietro Perugino, his master, improving it greatly in, design, colouring and invention. But in riper years he perceived that this was too far from the truth. For he saw the works of Lionardo da Vinci, who had no equal for the fashion of the heads of women and children, and in rendering his figures graceful, while in movement he surpassed all other artists; these filled Raphael with wonder and amazement. As this style pleased him more than any he had ever seen, he set to work to study it, and gradually and painfully abandoning the manner of Pietro, he sought as far as possible to imitate Lionardo. But in spite of all his diligence and study he could never surpass Lionardo, and though some consider him superior in sweetness, and in a certain natural facility, yet he never excelled that wonderful groundwork of ideas, and that grandeur of art, in which few have equalled Lionardo. Raphael, however, approached him more closely than any other painter, especially in grace of colouring.
But to return to Raphael himself. The style which he learnt of Pietro when young became a great disadvantage to him. He had learned it readily because it was slight, dry and defective in design, but his not being able to throw it off rendered it very difficult for him to learn the beauty of nudes, and the method of difficult foreshortening of the cartoon of Michelagnolo Buonarroti for the Hall of the Council at Florence. Another man would have lost his art at having wasted so much time, but not so Raphael, who purged himself of the style of Pietro, and used it as a stepping-stone to reach that of Michelagnolo, full as it was of difficulties in every part. The master having thus become a pupil again, applied himself to do as a man in a few months the work of several years, at an age when one learns quickly. Indeed, he who does not learn good principles and the style which he means to follow at an early age, acquiring facility by experience, seeking to understand the parts and put them in practice, will hardly ever become perfect, and can only do so with great pains, and after long study. When Raphael began to change and improve his style, he had never studied the nude as it should be studied, but had only done portraits as he had seen his master Pietro do them, assisted by his own natural grace. Accordingly he studied the nude, comparing the muscles of dead men with those of the living, which do not seem so marked when covered with skin as they do when the skin is removed. He afterwards saw how the soft and fleshy parts are made, and graceful turnings and twists, the effects of swelling, lowering and raising a member or the whole body, the system of bones, nerves and veins, becoming excellent in all the parts as a great master should. But seeing this he could not in this respect attain to the perfection of Michelagnolo, and being a man of good judgment, he reflected that painting does not consist of representing nude figures alone, but that it has a large field, and among the excellent painters there were many who could express their ideas with ease, felicity and good judgment, composing scenes not overcrowded or poor, and with few figures, but with good invention and order, and who deserved the name of skilled and judicious artists. It was possible, he reflected, to enrich his works with variety of perspective, buildings and landscapes, a light and delicate treatment of the draperies, sometimes causing the figure to be lost in the darkness, and sometimes coming into the clear light, making living and beautiful heads of women, children, youths and old men, endowing them with suitable movement and vigour. He also reflected upon the importance of the flight of horses in battle, the courage of the soldiers, the knowledge of all sorts of animals, and, above all, the method of drawing portraits of men to make them appear life-like and easily recognised, with a number of other things, such as draperies, shoes, helmets, armour, women's head-dresses, hair, beards, vases, trees, caves, rain, lightning, fine weather, night, moonlight, bright sun, and other necessities of present-day painting. Reflecting upon these things, Raphael determined that, if he could not equal Michelagnolo in some respects, he would do so in the other particulars, and perhaps surpass him. Accordingly he did not imitate him, not wishing to lose time, but studied to make himself the best master in the particulars mentioned. If other artists had done this instead of studying and imitating Michelagnolo only, though they could not attain to such perfection, they would not have striven in vain, attaining a very hard manner full of difficulty, without beauty or colouring, and poor in invention, when by seeking to be universal, and imitating other parts, they might have benefited themselves and the world. Having made this resolution, and knowing that Fra Bartolommeo of S. Marco had a very good method of painting, solid design and pleasant colouring, although he sometimes used the shadows too freely to obtain greater relief, Raphael borrowed from him what he‚ thought would be of service, namely a medium style in design and colouring, combining it with particulars selected from the best things of other masters. He thus formed a single style out of many, which was always considered his own, and was, and will always be, most highly esteemed by artists. This is seen to perfection in the sibyls and prophets done in the Pace, as has been said, for which he derived so much assistance from having seen the work of Michelagnolo in the Pope's chapel. If Raphael had stopped here, without seeking to aggrandise and vary his style, to show that he understood nudes as well as Michelagnolo, he would not have partly obscured the good name he had earned, for his nudes in the chamber of the Borgia tower in the Burning of the Borgo Nuovo, though good, are not flawless. Equally unsatisfactory are those done by him on the vaulting of the palace of Agostino Ghigi in Trastevere, because they lack his characteristic grace and sweetness. This was caused in great measure by his having employed others to colour from his designs. Recognising this mistake, he did the Transfiguration of S. Pietro a Montorio by himself unaided, so that it combines all the requisites of a good painting. If he had not employed printers' lampblack, through some caprice, which darkens with time, as has been said, and spoils the other colours with which it is mixed, I think the work would now be as fresh as when he did it, whereas it has now become rather faded.
I have entered upon these questions at the end of this Life to show how great were the labours, studies and diligence of this famous artist, and chiefly for the benefit of other painters, so that they may rise superior to disadvantages as Raphael did by his prudence and skill. Let me also add that everyone should be contented with doing the things for which he has a natural bent, and ought not to endeavour out of emulation to do what does not come to him naturally, in order that he may not labour in vain, frequently with shame and loss. Besides this, he should rest contented and not endeavour to surpass those who have worked miracles in art through great natural ability and the especial favour of God. For a man without natural ability, try how he may, will never succeed like one who successfully progresses with the aid of Nature. Among the ancients Paolo Uecello is an example of this, for he steadily deteriorated through his efforts to do more than he was able. The same remark applies in our own day to Jacopo da Pontormo, and may be seen in many others, as I have related and shall relate again. Perhaps this is because when Heaven has distributed favours it wishes men to rest content with their share.
Having spoken upon these questions of art, possibly at greater length than was necessary, I will now return to Raphael.
A great friend of his, Bernardo Divizio, cardinal of Bibbiena, had for many years urged him to take a wife. Raphael had not definitely refused, but had temporised, saying he would wait for three or four years. At the end of this time, when he did not expect it, the cardinal reminded him of his promise. Feeling obliged to keep his word, Raphael accepted a niece of the cardinal for wife. But being very ill-content with this arrangement, he kept putting things off, so that many months passed without the marriage taking place. This was not done without a purpose because he had served the court so many years, and Leo was his debtor for a good sum, so that he had received an intimation that, on completing the room which he was doing, the Pope would give him the red hat for his labours and ability, as it was proposed to create a good number of cardinals, some of less merit than Raphael.
Meanwhile Raphael continued his secret pleasures beyond all measure. After an unusually wild debauch he returned home with a severe fever, and the doctors believed him to have caught a chill. As he did not confess the cause of his disorder, the doctors imprudently let blood, thus enfeebling him when he needed restoratives. Accordingly he made his will, first sending his mistress out of the house, like a Christian, leaving her the means to Jive honestly. He then divided his things among his pupils, Giulio Romano, of whom he was always very fond, Cio. Francesco of Florence, called "iI Fattore, and some priest of Urbino, a relation. He ordained and left a provision that one of the antique tabernacles in S. Maria Rotonda should be restored with new stones, and an altar erected with a marble statue of the Madonna. This was chosen for his tomb after his death. He left all his possessions to Giulio and Cio. Francesco, making M. Baldassare da Pescia, then the Pope's datary, his executor. Having confessed and shown penitence, he finished the course of his life on the day of his birth, Good Friday, aged thirty-seven. We may believe that his soul adorns heaven as his talent has embellished the earth. At the head of the dead man, in the room where he worked, they put the Transfiguration, which he had done for the Cardinal de' Medici. The sight of the dead and of this living work filled all who saw them with poignant sorrow. The picture was placed by the cardinal in S. Pietro a Montorio, at the high altar, and was always prized for its execution. The body received honoured burial, as befitted so noble a spirit, for there was not an artist who did not grieve or who failed to accompany it to the tomb. His death caused great grief to the papal court, as he held office there as groom of the chamber, and afterwards the Pope became so fond of him that his death made him weep bitterly. O happy spirit, for all are proud to speak of thee and celebrate thy deeds, admiring every design. With the death of this admirable artist painting might well have died also, for when he closed his eyes she was left all but blind. We who remain can imitate the good and perfect examples left by him, and keep his memory green for his genius and the debt which we owe to him. It is, indeed, due to him that the arts, colouring and invention have all been brought to such perfection that further progress can hardly be expected, and it is unlikely that anyone will ever surpass him. Besides these services rendered to art, as a friend he was courteous alike to the upper, the middle and the lower classes. One of his numerous qualities fills me with amazement: that Heaven endowed him with the power of showing a disposition quite contrary to that of most painters. For the artists who worked with Raphael, not only the poor ones, but those who aspired to be great-and there are many such in our profession-lived united and in harmony, all their evil humours disappearing when they saw him, and every vile and base thought deserting their mind. Such a thing was never seen at any other time, and it arose because they were conquered by his courtesy and tact, and still more by his good nature, so full of gentleness and love that even animals loved him, not to speak of men. It is said that he would leave his own work to oblige any painter who had known him, and even those who did not. He always kept a great number employed, assisting and teaching them with as much affection as if they had been his own sons. He never went to court without having fifty painters at his heels, all good and skilful, who accompanied him to do him honour. In short, he did not live like a painter, but as a prince. For this cause, O Art of Painting, thou mayest consider thyself fortunate in having possessed an artist who, by his genius and character, has raised thee above the heavens. Blessed indeed art thou to have seen thy disciples brought together by the instruction of such a man, uniting the arts and virtues, which in Raphael compelled the greatness of Julius II. and the generosity of Leo, men occupying the highest dignity, to treat him with familiarity, and practise every kind of liberality, so that by means of their favour, and the wealth they gave him, he was able to do great honour to himself and to his art. Happy also were those who served under him, because all who imitated him were on a safe road, and so those who imitate his labours in art will be rewarded by the world, as those who copy his virtuous life will be rewarded in heaven. Bembo wrote the following epitaph for Raphael:
D. O. M RAPHAELI SANCTO IOAN. F. VRBINATI PICTORI EMINENTISS. VETERVMQ. AEMVLO CVIVS SPIRANTEIS PROPE IMAGINEIS ST CONTEMPLERE NATVRAE ATQVE ARTIS FOEDVS EACIELE INSPEXERIS. IVLIl II. ET LEONIS X. PONT. MAX. PICTVRAE ET ARCHITECT. OPERIBVS GLORIAM AVXIT VIXIT AN XXXVII. INTEGER INTEGROS QVO DIE NATVS EST EO ESSE DESIIT VII. ID APRIL MDXX . ILLE HIC EST RAPHAEL TIMUIT QU0 S0SPITE VINCI RERUM MAGNA PARENS QU0 M0RIENTE M0RI."
The Count Baldassare Castiglione wrote of his death as follows:
Quod lacerum corpus medica sanaverit arte Hippolytum Stygiis et revocarit aquis Ad Stygias ipse est raptus Epidaurius undas. Sic precium vitae mors fuit artifici Tu quoque dum toto laniatum corpore Romam Componis miro, Raphael, ingenio, Atque urbis lacerum ferro, igni, annisque cadaver Ad vitam, antiquum Jam revocasque decus Movisti superum invidiam, indignataque mors est, Te dudum extinctis reddere posse animam; Et quod longa dies paullatim aboleverat, hoc te Mortali spreta lege parare iterum Sic mis er heu! prima cadis intercepte juventa, Deberi et morti nostraque nosqite mones.
While at Naples Giovanni Francesco drew and painted, being much favoured by Tommaso Cambi, a Florentine merchant, who managed the affairs of the marquis. But he did not stay there long, for, being of weak constitution, he fell sick and died, to the sorrow of the marquis and of all his acquaintance.
He had a brother named Luca, also a painter, who worked with Perino, his kinsman, at Genoa, at Lucca, and many other places in Italy. Ultimately he went to England, and after doing some things for the king and some merchants he took to making designs for the Flemish copper engravers, doing many things which may be identified by his name as well as his style. Among them is a sheet of some women bathing, the original of which is in our book.
Lionardo, called II Pistoia, after his native place, was a pupil of Gian. Francesco. He did some things at Lucca, and in Rome painted many portraits; while in Naples, for Diomede Caraffa, bishop of Ariano, now cardinal, he did a Stoning of St. Stephen in his chapel. At Monte Oliveto he did another panel, placed at the high altar, but since removed to make room for a similar conception by Giorgio Vasari of Arezzo. Lionardo made considerable wealth out of the Neapolitan lords, but profited little by it, as he lost it in gaming. He died at Naples, leaving the reputation of having been a good colourist without much design. He lived forty years, and his works were produced about 1528.
A friend of Giovanni Francesco, and also a pupil of Raphael, was I'ellegrino da Modena, who, after acquiring a reputation at home, on hearing of the wonders of Raphael, determined to go to Rome, in order that he might realise the hopes formed of him. Arrived there he joined Raphael, who never refused a man of ability. At that time Rome contained numbers of young painters who vied with each other in their endeavours to win the favour of Raphael and a reputation among the people. By continual study Pellegrino became a skilful master and designer, and when Leo X. employed Raphael to paint the loggia, Pellegrino worked there with the other youths, doing so well that Raphael afterwards employed him in many other things.‚ At an altar at the entrance of S. Eustachio at Rome, Pellegrino did three figures in fresco, and decorated the chapel of the high altar in the Portuguese church at La Scrofa. Cardinal Alborense having erected a chapel decorated with many marbles in S. Jacopo of the Spaniards, with a St. James four and a half braccia high by Jacopo Sansovino, Pellegrino painted the life of the Apostle there in fresco, imitating Raphael in the gentle air of his figures, the composition showing him to be a skilful and ingenious painter. He afterwards did many other works in Rome by himself and with others. On the death of Raphael he returned to Modena, where he did many works, among others a St. John baptising Christ, in oils, for a confratemity of Flagellants, and in the church of the Servites he did 55. Cosmo and Damian, with other figures, on a panel. He took a wife and had a son, who caused his death; for, during a dispute with some young companions of Modena, the son killed one. Pellegrino ran out to rescue his son from justice, but on the way he met the kinsmen of the murdered youth seeking the murderer. Furious at meeting Pellegrino, because they had not caught his son, they inflicted so many wounds on him that he died. This chance greatly grieved the Modenese, for in him they felt they had lost a rare spirit.
Gaudenzio of Milan was a companion of his, and an excellent, skilful and rapid painter. He did many works in fresco at Milan, notably a beautiful Last Supper for the friars of La Passione, left unfinished at his death. He also worked excellently in oils, there being a goodly number of fine works by his hand at Vercelli and Veralla. 1 Perugino was in Perugia in 1490 and again in 1499.2 Raphael's mother died in 1495 when he was only eight years old. His father remarried and himself died in 1494.3 Painted 1502; now in the Vatican Gallery.4 The Sposalizio of the Brera, Milan, painted in 1504.5 In1502, but by the nephew of Pius II., Francesco Piccolomini, who afterwards became Pope as Pius III.6 In 1504.7 The Madonna del Giardino in the Vienna Gallery is one, the other possibly that in Bridgwater House.8 Now in the Uffizi, known as the Madonna del Cardellino.9 Captain from 1495 to 1498.10 Painted 1506; now in the National Gallery.11 In 1505.12 Now in the Naples Museum.13 Now in the Pitti Gallery.14 Now at Munich.15 Borghese Gallery, Rome; painted 1507.16 The Madonna del Baldacchino, now in the Pitti Gallery.17 Either La Belie Jardiniere of the Louvre or the Colonna Madonna of Berlin.18 1508.19 In the following description vasari has confused in the most astonishing manner the "Disputa" and the "School of Athens."20 Finished in 1511.21 Now in the Pitti Gallery.22 In the Farnesina; painted in 1514.23 Sigismondo de' Conti. This picture, known as the Madonna di Foligno is now in the Vatican Gallery.24 Maria Bibbiena; but she seems to have died before the artist.25 Now in the Vatican Gallery.26 In 1512.27 Painted in 1514.28 Painted in 1512.29 Finished in 1514.30 13 February, 1553.31 Madonna del Pesce, now in the Prado, Madrid.32 Now in the Bologna Academy; painted 1513.33 Pitti Gallery.34 Pinacothek, Munich, ascription doubtful.35 Madonna dell' Impannata, Pitti Gallery.36 Pitti Gallery; painted in 1518.37 It should be St. Felicita.38 The "Spasmo di Sicilia," now at Madrid; Vasari is wrong about Veronica.39 Begun in 1514.40 Dated 1517, the scene represents the coronation of Charlemagrie.41 Giovanini Francesco Penn.42 The Sistine Madonna, now at Dresden.43 Now in the Louvre; dated, 1518.44 The cartoons were done in 1515 or 1516. They were bought by Charles I. in 1630 and are now in South Kensington Museum.45 Uffizi Gallery.