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Raphael or Raffaello (April 6 1483 â April 6, 1520) was a master painter and architect of the Florentine school in the Italian High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and softness of his paintings. He was also called Raffaello Sanzio, Raffaello Santi, Raffaello da Urbino or Rafael Sanzio da Urbino.

The surname Sanzio derives from the latinization of the Italian, Santi, into Santius (also, when signing solely using his baptismal name, "Raphael"). His father, Santi Giovanni, was also a painter in the court of Urbino.

In 1491 his mother Màgia died and his father then died on 1 August 1494. Thus orphaned at eleven, Raffaello was entrusted to his uncle Bartolomeo, a priest. He had already shown talent, as recounted by his contemporary Giorgio Vasari - he tells that since childhood Raphael had been "a great help to his father". Unfortunately it is not known precisely how Raphael assisted and, lacking any documentation on this part of his life, his formative phase remains unknown.

Nevertheless, in Urbino he came into contact with the works of Uccello and Signorelli. T...

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