Who was Raphael? The Artist, His World, and His Painting

Who was Raphael? The Artist, His World, and His Painting

This week we will meet Raphael. We’ll start in his birthplace and follow his travels and growth from a young orphan to an independent master. From Urbino, to Umbria, to Florence, and finally to Rome, we’ll see how his self-education prepared him for painting in the papal palace.

Meet the Faculty Host

Presented by David Mayernik

David Mayernik ’83, Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at Notre Dame, is an artist and award-winning architect. He is the author of Timeless Cities: An Architect’s Reflections on Renaissance Italy, and The Challenge of Emulation in Art and Architecture: Between Imitation and Invention. A Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the American Academy in Rome, and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, he is a winner of the Gabriel Prize for research in France. His work for TASIS Switzerland garnered a Palladio Award from Traditional Building magazine, and early in his career he was named one of the top forty architects in the U.S. under forty years old. For several seasons, he painted stage sets for the Haymarket Opera company of Chicago’s performances of Baroque operas, and he won the competition to paint the Palio for his adopted city of Lucca in 2013. A graduate of Notre Dame, he has taught design, theory, and drawing courses both in Rome and on campus. His course The Meaning of Rome on the edX platform had 6,000 students from around the world when it was live in 2016.

Who was Raphael?

Presented by David Mayernik

The boy from Urbino — The world he was born into and his apprenticeship

Starting in Urbino where he was born, we’ll meet Raphael’s father Giovanni. We’ll then follow the orphan Raphael to the studio of Pietro Perugino, and finally, to his first independent commissions.

Raphael the mature artist

Presented by David Mayernik

Travels to Florence and Siena, and the artists who influenced him

Like his master Perugino, Raphael went to Florence to test himself and grow as an artist. Balancing study and practice, he matured into the artist that the pope would call to Rome.

Renaissance Rome

Presented by David Mayernik

Seat of the papacy, land of ancient ruins and new Renaissance works of art: This is where Raphael would spend the rest of his life

We’ll see Rome, where he was called by Julius II, the way Raphael saw it. And, we’ll learn what was expected of him there.

View the Event

Presented by David Mayernik

View the discussion recorded on May 6, 2021, with Professor Ingrid Rowland about Raphael’s formation and what he may have known about the subjects he was asked to paint. Register to participate in future discussions.

Listen to the discussion wherever, whenever, on The ThinkND Podcast:

Read the Recap

Prof. Ingrid Rowland writes and lectures on Classical Antiquity, the Renaissance, and the Age of the Baroque for general as well as specialist readers. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, she is the author of The Culture of the High Renaissance: Ancients and Moderns in Sixteenth-Century Rome (1998), The Scarith of Scornello: A Tale of Renaissance Forgery (2004), From Heaven to Arcadia (2005), Giordano Bruno, Philosopher/Heretic (2008), From Pompeii: The Afterlife of a Roman Town (2013), Villa Taverna (2014), and The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art (2017) co-written with Noah Charney. In 2009, she was awarded the Society for Italian Historical Studies’s Howard R. Marraro Prize for Giordano Bruno. Rowland has also published translations of Vitruvius’ Ten Books of Architecture (1999) and Giordano Bruno’s Italian dialogue On the Heroic Frenzies (2014), an edition of the correspondence of Agostino Chigi from a Vatican Library manuscript (2001), and the exhibition catalog The Ecstatic Journey: Athanasius Kircher in Baroque Rome (2000). Her latest book is The Divine Spark of Syracuse (2018).

As an Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, she received the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Prof. Rowland previously taught at UCLA and Columbia University, as well as in the Rome programs of St. Mary’s College and the University of California, Irvine. After completing a BA in Classics at Pomona College, she earned her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Greek Literature and Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. She has been a Fellow of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the American Academy in Rome, the Villa I Tatti in Florence and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Member of the Accademia dei Sepolti of Volterra and the Accademia degli Intronati of Siena. 

Additional Resources

Presented by David Mayernik

  • Optional: Symposium: After Raphael | The Afterlife of Raphael’s Art, from His Century to Ours with David Mayernik (2:21:50) and Ingrid Rowland (6:49).

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