It was in the midst of the Renaissance, in Italy, that Stéphane Bern set down his bags for tonight’s Secrets of History. An issue entirely devoted to a major painter and yet less known than his contemporaries Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci: Raphaël.
Secrets d’Histoire tells the story of Raphael’s life in a new issue of the magazine presented by Stéphane Bern. Thanks to this innovative painter, the magazine makes us travel to Italy and meet some of the great masters of painting of that time. But it is above all a question of a gifted painter who will have jostled his contemporaries with his very personal approach to his art. Back in a few anecdotes on the program offered this evening by France 3.
Raphaël is the son of Giovanni Santi, a painter recognized in his time. From his earliest childhood, Raphaël lived among brushes and canvases. His father made him work and he began with humble tasks. His father wants him to take turns in all positions: he doesn’t get any advantage by being Giovanni’s son.
The whole family lives in Urbino, in the Marche region, in Italy. Raphaël’s mother died when he was only 8 years old, then his father passed away three years later. Raphaël was 15 when he left the home.
Throughout his career, Raphaël does not hesitate to question himself even if it means becoming a student again to perfect his art. He was only 17 when he learned from Perugino in Perugia. The artist is a reference to the time. Then, in Siena, he was Pinturicchio’s assistant and finally, in Rome, he took a course with Leonardo da Vinci.
📌 Secrets of History on Raphaël, the Renaissance prodigy, it’s tonight at 9:05 pm on @ France3tv with @bernstephane pic.twitter.com/XSJnGbfWss
Raphaël quickly took inspiration from his elders. He likes to take up a theme worked on by one of his models and give it his own interpretation. But when the young artist struggles to find commissions in Florence, he polishes works around a subject that becomes his favorite subject: the Virgin and Child. He will decline a large number of paintings, some of which are still references today.
At 25, Raphael moved to Rome because his reputation extended to Pope Julius II. The latter asks him to work on the decoration of four rooms in his apartments. The painter knows that if he stands out, it can open doors for him. Faced with what he presents, the Pope dismisses the other artists who worked on this site and puts everything in Raphael’s hands. It will take twelve years of work to complete the sixteen remaining frescoes.
Not far from there, at the same time, Michelangelo walks in secret on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. By a happy coincidence, Raphaël discovers what the master is doing. This vision is a real shock for the young man and it will have an impact on his painting.
In 1514, Pope Leo X had to find a successor to the architect who was working on his monumental project: St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. He asks Raphael to take care of it. He made several changes to his predecessor’s plans and agreed to devote himself to them. Unfortunately, the site is such, the young man’s life is so short, that he will never see his work completed. Indeed, he died at the age of 37, leaving behind a considerable number of paintings so some are still in the collective imagination.
Secrets of History: Raphaël, the Renaissance prodigy, Monday January 18 at 9:05 p.m. on France 3.
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News – “Secrets of History”: 7 facts about the painter Raphaël