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Title:Raphael: A Mortal God | Arts Unveiled Special

The unexpected demise of the esteemed painter Raffaello Santi on Good Friday in 1520, at the age of 37, reverberated throughout the city of Rome and the artistic circles of the time. Little did the world anticipate that his name would become legend and that the two angels on his most famous painting, the Sistine Madonna, would become his most reproduced and recognisable motif in the modern era. Raphael's life and career were marked by a prodigious talent that manifested at a remarkably young age. Born in Urbino, Italy, in 1483, he showcased an extraordinary aptitude for painting and drawing that eventually propelled him into the illustrious triumvirate of High Renaissance artists, alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. His ability to infuse his works with harmony, equilibrium, and emotional profundity distinguished him as a master of his craft. Among his most celebrated and revered creations stands the "Sistine Madonna." Painted between 1512 and 1513, this masterpiece stands as a testament to Raphael's artistic prowess and encapsulates the very spirit of the High Renaissance. The "Sistine Madonna" eloquently displays Raphael's exceptional talent in capturing ethereal beauty, profound expressions, and intricate compositions. The central depiction of the Madonna and Child, flanked by the enigmatic figures of Saints Sixtus and Barbara, conjures a palpable sense of divine presence that resonates with spectators even in the present day. Central to Raphael's myth is his rivalry with the equally esteemed Michelangelo. The two artists, while pursuing distinct artistic visions, engaged in a friendly yet intense competition that spurred them to greater heights of creativity. Michelangelo's powerful sculptures and bold painting style contrasted with Raphael's finesse and elegance, making their artistic duel a defining feature of the Renaissance landscape. Amidst the myth of Raphael, an intriguing subplot revolves around the "Sistine Madonna" itself. This iconic painting, despite its fame, embarked on a tumultuous journey that adds to its mystique. Commissioned by Pope Julius II, the artwork eventually found its way to the Royal Gallery of Dresden in the 18th century, where it was admired by countless visitors. However, history took a disheartening turn when the painting disappeared at the end of World War II, sparking a protracted dispute over its rightful ownership. The saga of the "Sistine Madonna" being taken to Dresden and subsequently looted by the Soviets underscores the painting's enduring significance and the lengths to which people were willing to go to possess it. This tale, intertwined with the broader narrative of Raphael's myth, serves as a poignant reminder of art's ability to transcend time and geopolitical boundaries, becoming an object of cultural intrigue and international discourse. On this Arts Unveiled Special, we dispell the myth of Raphael, birthed from his untimely passing and nurtured by the cultural, historical, and narrative components of his age, continues to thrive across centuries. #dwhistoryandculture #raphael #sistinemadonna For more visit: ⮞ Follow DW Culture on Facebook: ⮞ Follow DW Culture on Twitter: Please follow DW's netiquette:


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