Thursday, June 26, 2008
Raphael - Italy's First Casanova
"Raphael was an amorous man who was fond of women, and he was always quick to serve them."
That is a quote from Giorgio Vasari in the Lives of the Artists. Raphael was one of the three Giants of the Renaissance. Between Raphael, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo the artistic world was recreated. He was beautiful, graceful, and well connected to the power base of Italy earning some of the most important commissions as a result.
While working on Villa Farnasina for the wealthy Agostino Chigi he was unable to work due his love for one of his mistresses. Chigi arranged to have his mistress come to the Villa to be near Raphael. The work was finally completed. The masterpiece is in the Loggia Galatea in Villa Farnasina in Trastevere in Rome. Raphael painted a portrait of another one of his lovers that you can see in the Barbarini Gallery in Rome. It is of Margherita Luti. The name of painting is La Farnarina.
"How generous and kind Heaven sometimes proves to be when it brings together in a single person the boundless riches of its treasures and all those graces and rare gifts that over a period of time are usually divided among many individuals can clearly be seen in the no less excellent than gracious Raphael Sanzio of Urbino."
Check out the Unabellavista Podcasts on iTunes. A full podcast is dedicated to Raphael along with a supporting essay covering his life and works.