Dear Friends,

After yet another very long recess - for which I doubly apologize -, I would like to present in this opportunity the third-in-importance Renaissance painter, Raffaello Sanzio di Urbino, commonly known as Raphael - the first two being the great Leonardo, who was the last artist featured in this forum, and Michelangelo, not featured yet. I am departing this time from what so far has been our custom, i.e. to show great but relatively unknown pieces only, and so the painting I am pleased to present to you today is not only one of Raphael's most precious masterworks, but perhaps his best known and most emblematic one as well: The so-called Madonna of the Chair ("Madonna della Seggiola"), here shown preciously framed such as may be appreciated at the Galleria Palatina of the Palazzo Pitti, in Florence, Italy. (You may click on the image to enlarge it.)

NOTE: To view a larger, non-framed image, click

An Italian Renaissance painter, frescoeist, sculptor, architect, poet and archaeologist, Raphael was, like the two other great Renaissance artists mentioned above, most prolific. He studied under Pietro Perugino and was, in turn, the  teacher of the great Mannerist painter Giulio Romano and of other lesser-known Mannerists. He was active in Urbino, Perugia, Umbria, Florence and, specially, Rome.

Other favorite paintings and frescoes by Raphael include (by date of execution): Spozalizio (The Engagement of Virgin Mary), The Granduca Madonna, Portrait of Agnolo Dogni, The School of Athens, Madonna Velvedere (Madonna del Prato), Portrait of Bindo Altoviti, The Sistine Madonna, Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione, Woman with a Veil (La Donna Velata), Holy Family below the Oak, The Transfiguration, Baptisme of Constantine.

As always, good feedback is highly appreciated.

Thank you,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo


Madonna della Seggiola (1)
by Raphael Sanzio

born 6 April 1483, Urbino (Pesaro e Urbino, Marches, Italy)
died 1520, Rome (Lazio, Italy


Italian in full Raffaello Sanzio master painter and architect of the Italian High Renaissance. Raphael is best known for his Madonnas (see photograph) and for his large figure compositions in the Vatican in Rome. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur.

Italian painter, draughtsman and architect, he has always been acknowledged as one of the greatest European artists. With Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Titian, he was one of the most famous painters working in Italy in the period from 1500 to 1520, often identified as the High Renaissance, and in this period he was perhaps the most important figure. His early altarpieces (of 1500–07) were made for Città di Castello and Perugia; in Florence between 1504 and 1508 he created some of his finest portraits and a series of devotional paintings of the Holy Family. In 1508 he moved to Rome, where he decorated in fresco the Stanze of the papal apartments in the Vatican Palace—perhaps his most celebrated works—as well as executing smaller paintings in oil (including portraits) and a series of major altarpieces, some of which were sent from Rome to other centres. In Rome, Raphael came to run a large workshop. He also diversified, working as an architect and designer of prints.

Technical data

Madonna della Seggiola (framed)
Oil on wood, c.1514
27 7/8 x 27 7/8 inches (71 x 71 cm)
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence


(1) This image is a courtesy of the Web Gallery of Art.

(2) Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, Grove Dictionary of Art Online (excerpt).

(3) Source: Art Renewal Center.