Raphael or Raffaello (6th April, 1483 - 6th April, 1520 - see note below), also called Raffaello Sanzio, Raffaello Santi, Raffaello da Urbino or Rafael Sanzio de Urbino, was a painter and architect of the Florentine school in the Italian High Renaissance.
His life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Vite. Born in Urbino, he studied in Perugia under Pietro Perugino; but after moving to Florence he soon adopted the styles of Leonardo and Michelangelo.
Raphael is best known for his Madonnas and Holy families and for his large frescoes in the Vatican Palace. In 1509 indeed, he was called to Rome to decorate the Vatican Stanze (rooms), for Pope Julius II. The best known of these works are the School of Athens and the Disputation on the Blessed Sacrament, two large, arch-shaped frescoes, the first depicting the pagan philosophers of Antiquity grouped around Plato and Aristotle and the second depicting Christian theologians grouped under Jesus Christ.
Under Pope Leo X he was chief architect of Saint Peter's Basilica in 1514 and he was named as a sort of supervisor for Roman archaeology research.
He died on his thirty-seventh birthday in Rome (reportedly just weeks before Leo was to invest him as a cardinal) and was interred there in the Pantheon, the country's most honored place.
Dates of birth and death
Many sources give the date of Raphael's birth as Good Friday, 6th April 1483. In the year of 1483 the Julian Calendar was in use and Easter Sunday, according to the Julian calendar calculation, fell on 30th March. Therefore Good Friday occurred on 28th March. This is the actual date of Raphael's birth in the Julian calendar. In 1582 the Gregorian Calendar was introduced into Catholic Europe by Pope Gregory XIII. The Proleptic Gregorian Calendar is a backwards extension of this calendar and in 1483 the Proleptic Gregorian equivalent date of 28th March was 6th April. The Julian-Gregorian offset was nine days during the 15th century.
In the 16th century the Julian-Gregorian offset had increased to 10 days. Therefore the date of Raphael's death was 6th April 1520 in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. In the Julian calendar, which was being used at the time, the date was 27th March. Raphael died on the eve of his 37th birthday (Julian date).