CRITIQUE – The history magazine of France 3 devotes, Monday, January 18, a new issue to the painter and architect Raphaël. Along with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, whom he both met, he was part of the trio of geniuses of the Renaissance.

It’s rare enough to be highlighted, but for once the existence of the celebrity recounted in “Secrets d’Histoire” on France 3 has not been marked by any tragedy. Raphael’s life is as wonderful and sweet as the contours of the faces of his Madonnas. Thus, this cultural and historical walk is a feast for the eyes but also a great comfort. The year 2020 marked the half-millennium since the artist passed away at the age of 37, exhausted by a fever that is still unexplained today. For example, last year Italians were able to place a rose in her honor on the marble of her tomb in the Pantheon in Rome.

Stéphane Bern went to Rome to follow in the footsteps of this Renaissance wonder, courteous and refined. We also go to Florence and Siena to discover the masterpieces of the painter and architect. The Vatican Museums open their doors to show us the famous so-called “Raphael” rooms. The documentary also reveals that the young man was a mad lover of women without ever having wanted, however, to start a family. Rather, he frequented courtesans (there were more than 5,000 in Rome), some of whom served as models.

He was also one of the first artists to firmly urge Rome to save its heritage and to stop plundering the marbles from ancient ruins. After reading his petition, in 1519, Pope Leo X appointed him great curator of the antiquities of Rome, an unprecedented and oh so avant-garde charge. Thanks to this archeology enthusiast, we can admire the Eternal City as it is today, preserved.

Throughout “Secrets of History”, we discover his bust reconstructed in 3D thanks to his bones. We also learn that, unlike Michelangelo, known for his anger, Raphael was very gentle and friendly. Born in Urbino, one of the capitals of the Italian Renaissance, he received a very refined education. Her father was a famous painter and her mother the daughter of a wealthy merchant. He never lacked for anything and he was even said to be breast-fed by his mother, which was rare. The baby was usually left with the nurse. Very early on, his parents wanted to pamper him, then raise him to higher levels. He learned from childhood the codes of the Italian court. He already painted as a virtuoso as a teenager, so his first commissions came when he was only 15 years old (and he will receive them until the end of his life). He is considered to have become a master at 17, recognized as such by his contemporaries.