Raphael Sanzio was born on April 6th 1483, in Urbino. Known as the Master of Urbino, he is one of the most well-known and loved Italian artists in the world.
Best known for his ‘Madonnas’, including the Sistine Madonna, Raphael was described as a master when a teenager, becoming a leading figure of Italian High Renaissance classicism.
On April 6th, 1520, aged 37, he died suddenly and unexpectedly in Rome, burned out by work, or as gossips in the 16th century insisted, worn out by too much sex! Either way, it cut short the brief but brilliant career of this Renaissance genius.
Raphael’s fame in drawing had a transformative effect on European art over the centuries and his drawing of Head of a Muse (depicted above), set a world record for an old master drawing selling at auction for just under £30m (2009).