The 12 Most Famous Paintings by Raphael

famous paintings by raphael

These are the 12 Most Famous Paintings by Raphael.

Raphael (1483-1520) was a master painter during the Renaissance in Italy. Most of his art was praised for its visual realization of the Neoplatonic ideal of human magnificence, as well as its clarity of form and simplicity of composition. He was also a renowned architect during his lifetime.

The School of Athens (1509-1511)

Certainly one of the most famous paintings by Raphael, this is a painting of figures from Greek mythology and Renaissance Italy. Plato and Aristotle are the principal figures, placed near the vanishing point of the fresco.

The School of Athens is also known as the Stanza Della Segnatura. There are 21 figures in total, and it’s dedicated to philosophy. One of the figures is thought to be of Raphael himself, the only self-portrait if this is indeed correct.

Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione (1514-1515)

This is a painting of Baldassare Castiglione, a companion of Raphael and a diplomat and intellectual, who is regarded as a model of a High Renaissance gentleman.

Castiglione is portrayed as fragile, and he exhibits Raphael’s portrayal of humanistic sensibility. Castiglione’s soft contours and rounded beard demonstrate the subject’s sensitivity to personality.

The Mond Crucifixion (1502–03)

This is a painting of Jesus at the crucifixion, among six other figures. The grieving and suffering that Christ underwent on the cross have been overlooked in the painting. Except for his wounds on his feet, hands, and side, Jesus appeared to be unblemished and calm. To be true to the High Renaissance painting style, Raphael emphasized Christ’s perfection.

The Coronation of the Virgin (1502–03)

This is a painting of an altarpiece of The Coronation and the Giving of the Girdle to St Thomas, an incident typically linked with the Assumption. Several aspects, particularly the Apostles’ very distinct expressions and the peaceful scenery in the background, are extremely masterful. The Predella scenes in the painting contain the most significant passages.

The Wedding of the Virgin (1504)

This is a painting of the Virgin Mary’s marriage to St. Joseph. It was painted as part of an altarpiece for a church in Citta di Castello, Italy. The amount of detail employed by Raphael to show the domed building in the background is one of the most interesting aspects of this artwork. In terms of imagery, vibrant colors, and sheer scale, the artwork is amazing. 

Saint George and the Dragon (1505)

This is one of the famous paintings by Raphael, a painting of Saint George rescuing a pagan king’s daughter by slaying a dragon with his sword.

The princess then led the dragon to the city, convincing the king and his people to become Christians. St George’s dragon-slaying was first attributed to him in the 11th century, long after his death. The saint’s blue garter on his armored leg is an uncommon element in the painting.

Madonna of the Pinks (1506–07)

One of many famous paintings by Raphael depicting the Madonna is of the young virgin having fun with her infant son, who is sitting on a pillow in her lap.

Although the color palette of blues and greens that relate the Virgin to the environment is Raphael’s own, the arrangement is modeled closely on Leonardo da Vinci’s “Benois Madonna.” The ruined building in the arched window represents the downfall of the pagan world at the birth of Christ.

The Madonna of the Meadow (1506)

This is a painting of the first in a series of full-length figure compositions depicting the legendary connection between the Child Jesus and the Child Baptist. Raphael painted the painting while he was in Florence, and it portrays a peaceful and loving moment with a landscape background, which is also part of the interaction. His paintings are full of human love and tranquility and have exquisitely flawless figures.

Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1507)

This is a painting of Saint Catherine of Alexandria staring upward with her eyes closed as if she is deep in concentration, and leaning on a broken wheel, which is used to commemorate her sacrifice. The beautiful pose of Catherine in the painting is influenced by Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings. The depiction of holy passion, on the other hand, is reminiscent of Pietro Perugino’s works.

The Fire in the Borgo (1514)

This is a painting of Pope Leo IV using his blessing to prevent a blazing fire from burning Borgo, a region near the Basilica of Saint Peter’s. This painting stands out from Raphael’s works because it differs from his previous works, which were often more large and airy. This painting, on the other hand, has no blank spaces. It’s rich in detail, and each figure appears to share a story.

The Holy Family (1518)

This is a painting of the holy family, which consists of Joseph, Mary, the young Christ, and Saint John. It has a tremendous amount of meaning and its religious significance is considerably bigger. It’s one of the rare paintings that portray the life of Christ. The painting’s background is magnificent, with clear details fully portrayed inch by inch.

La Fornarina (1520)

This is a painting of a young woman with bare breasts wearing an oriental-style hat. She covers her left breast with her hand, which is illuminated by a strong light coming from the outside.

Placing the right hand on the left breast reveals a cancerous breast tumor hidden behind a traditional love position. The painting is known for being one of Raphael’s final works.

What famous paintings by Raphael do you think we should add to this list? Comment below.

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