An original, thematic book focused on one of Raphael's favourite subjects, female portraits, which embody the typical ideals of Italian Renaissance: Grace and Beauty.
This monograph, catalogue of the Paris fall exhibition, presents a selection of Raphael's female portraits, including extraordinary masterpieces such as the Lady with Unicorn, La Fornarina (The Baker Girl), La Muta (The Mute Woman), La Velata (Woman with a Veil) and the Portrait of Giovanna d'Aragona, as well as other paintings and drawings: a rare and unprecedented event, covering the entire career of Raphael through 30 exceptional masterpieces coming from major museums of the world. Raphael of Urbino received his early training in art from his father, the painter Giovanni Santi. In 1499 he went to Perugia, in Umbria, and became a student and assistant of the painter Perugino. In 1504 Raphael moved to Florence, where he studied the work of established painters of the time as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. At this time he made a transition from the typical style of the Umbrian school, with its emphasis on perspective and rigidly geometrical composition, to a more animated, informal manner of painting. In 1508 Raphael was called to Rome by Pope Julius II and commissioned to execute frescoes in the Vatican Palace. In 1513, after the accession of Leo X, Raphael's influence and responsibilities increased. He was made chief architect of Saint Peter's Basilica in 1514, and a year later was appointed director of all the excavations of antiquities in and near Rome. His portraits and double- portraits were highly sought after and established a standard for most Italian painters of the high Renaissance. He died in Rome on his 37th birthday, April 6, 1520.