Happy Birthday Raphael!! April 6 (I am in Hawaii and having a slightly tough time getting computer access, so I will post a couple of days in the future). Italian born in 1483, he was one of the three instrumental artists of the Renaissance. To put it into perspective, he was 17 when Leonardo was 48 and Michelangelo was 25. He was greatly influenced by Leonardo’s portraiture, specifically the dark background emphasizing the chiaroscuro in the Mona Lisa. In just 10 years he attained the status of Leonardo and Michelangelo. Raphael moved up quickly not only in the eyes of the art world but those of Pope Julius II as well. He was commissioned for several large projects including the Papal apartments. Sadly, Raphael’s life was cut short with his death at 37, imagine what he could have accomplished if he’d lived twice that long! Below is Raphael's most famous vatican fresco, The School of Athens, in it are representations of nearly all the Greek philosophers. It is a great example of perspective painting as well!