Although Raphael is best remembered today for his Madonna and Child paintings, he was in great demand during his lifetime to paint dukes, counts, and fashionable ladies. Popes, cardinals, and noblemen wanted Raphael to paint frescoes on their walls, design their villas, and decorate their chapels. Raphael spent his childhood in a palace surrounded by art, music and poetry. Called Prince of Painters, he represented the ideal Renaissance Man, expressing the beauty, humanism, and culture that defined the age.
Less familiar, yet revealed in this book, is Raphael s love of archaeology and his determination to preserve ancient Roman monuments. His life and art display a knowledge of classical architecture and philosophy. Raphael was amazingly productive in his short life and remains one of history s most admired artists.