Monday, August 15, 2016

Raphael - The Prince of Painters pt. I of II

This is part one of a two part documentary on Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael.  Much like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who were named after the great Renaissance artists Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael, Raphael seems to get the least amount of attention. Which is odd because out of all of them he's probably the best one. Except when we're talking Ninja Turtles, Donatello is the best, there's no arguing that point with me!  A lot of people have seen his work and most likely don't realise it's his. The subject matter is similar to his colleagues, but that's to be expected. When the Pope tells you what to paint you paint it, at least back then you did. However when you see one of his paintings up close and in person you can definitely see a difference. Last year I went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and got to see one and it blew me away. All the way across the room it glowed and people seemed to be hypnotized by it. When I returned from my trip and told people about it they immediately said, who!?  Are you kidding me?  They're asking me who Raphael is when they probably know every sordid detail of some stupid reality TV "star's" life. Unbelievable to me. You can still see Madonna of the Pinks at the MIA as it's still on loan to them. If you've never been to MIA I highly recommend it, membership is free and the works they have there are incredible. Make sure you set aside a whole day though, it's huge, there's a lot to look at and you might get lost. (Yes, if you're wondering I did get lost).
What prompted me to search for a movie about Raphael is a conversation I had this weekend with a friend. She asked, what's the big deal about the Mona Lisa? I had to agree with her, what's the big deal? She doesn't understand the hype and that's when I mentioned that I think Raphael's work is better. Again I was greeted with, who? Yea, someone in the group didn't know who I was talking about. So if you have no idea who he is you need to watch this documentary. If you do know who he is you still need to watch it.
Here's another link to a short video and information on one of his most famous paintings School of Athens.

1 comment:

  1. I'm amazed people haven't heard of him as well. One of my painting teachers had to do double duty as the art history teacher and he pounded us with Raphael. But, like you say, from a painter's viewpoint Raphael should stand out.