Happy Birthday, Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (Raphael Santi) was born today in 1483, in Urbino, Italy. Along with Michelangelo and Leonardo he is one of the great High Renaissance painters. (Donatello is from the early Renaissance...)
John Ruskin described the thought behind the Pre-Raphaelites thus:
The perfection of execution and the beauty of feature which were attained in his works, and in those of his great contemporaries, rendered finish of execution and beauty of form the chief objects of all artists; and thenceforward execution was looked for rather than thought, and beauty rather than veracity... In mediæval art, thought is the first thing, execution the second; in modern art execution is the first thing, and thought the second. And again, in mediæval art, truth is first, beauty second; in modern art, beauty is first, truth second. The mediæval principles led up to Raphael, and the modern principles lead down from him.Not bad - to be the man whose art was so perfectly beautiful that everyone tried to match you.