Raphael Leonardo Arts Society Harry Lime

Raphael Arts Society Harry Lime

Attended a fascinating talk at Winchester Arts Society: Raphael and his Influences. Raphael Arts Society Harry Lime

The lecturer, Sian Walters MA (Cantab) through a series of painting illustrations, demonstrated how Raphael could have been influenced by the likes of Pietro Perugino, who was himself taught by Piero Della Francesco.

Study the similarities in composition and style.

Pietro Perugino (c1446/52 – 1523) The Delivery of the Keys Sistine Chapel Rome
Piero Della Francesca (1415-1492) The Baptism of Christ 1450 National Gallery London
Perugino Assumption of the Virgin 1506









Raphael The Wedding of the Virgin 1504


 world’s greatest artists and finest works
Raphael The Mond Crucifixion 1502-3









Also reference Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and the geometrics in play.

Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian Man 1490

Raphael Arts Society

Overlay this on Piero Della Francesco’s Baptism of Christ and enjoy the comparison.

 world’s greatest artists and finest works
The Baptism of Christ (Della Francesca and Vitruvian Man (Leonardo)

In the day (as encapsulated in a tome by Leon Battista Alberti) – the circle represented God, the triangle the Trinity, square – solidity of the Church, pentagram – man, hexagram – God’s rule over the universe. All these geometrics can, one way or another be applied to most Renaissance works, including the golden section. (See

And why ‘Vitruvian’? – Vitruvius the Roman Architect, advocate of proportional-ism and who was influenced by his work? None other than Palladio whose influence is around us forever today.

Palladio Villa Capra Rotunda (started 1566)








Amongst Raphael’s famous works is the portrait of Julius II of the Della Rovere family.

 world’s greatest artists and finest works
Raphael Pope Julius II (1511-1512)

Julius was related to Bramante who was related to Raphael, and thus the chain of nepotistic connections that led to Raphael being invited to Rome, where his fame took off.







To my belief, Raphael’s greatest achievement was his work in the Vatican’s Stanza Della Segnatura.

 world’s greatest artists and finest works
The School of Athens 1509-11
 world’s greatest artists and finest works
Disputation of The Holy Sacrament 1509-10







One interesting tale is that apparently Raphael was so passionately involved with his love La Fornarina

 world’s greatest artists and finest works
La Fornarina 1518-19









that he kept taking time off work to enjoy her physical company. This was so disruptive that the Pope allowed her to stay close at hand in the Vatican, although this may have led to his demise – dying of passionate physical exhaustion at the age of 33.

I love the quote of Harry Lime in the’ Third Man’


Harry Lime The Third Man 1949

“In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed. They produced Michelangelo, da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.”





Not quite accurate but the point being that within an incredibly short period of time, within a most limited geographical area, with substantially important influencers and influenced, unashamed nepotism rife: some of the world’s greatest artists and finest works were produced and the humanist Renaissance changed our lives forever.

Raphael Arts Society Harry Lime