And with all this vast creative activity, he recognized only one
self-imposed limitation--beauty. Hence, though his span of life was
short, his work is imperishable. He steadily progressed: but he was
ever true, beautiful and pure, and freer than any other master from
superficiality and mannerism. He produced a vast number of pictures,
elevating to men of every race and of every age, and before whose
immortal beauty artists of every school unite in common homage.--Wilhelm Lubke
The term "Preraphaelite" traces a royal lineage to William Morris.
Just what the word really meant, William Morris was not sure, yet he
once expressed the hope that he would some day know, as a thousand
industrious writers were laboring to make the matter plain.
Seven men helped William Morris to launch the phrase, by forming
themselves into an organization which they were pleased to call the
The word "brotherhood" has a lure and a promise for every lonely and
tired son of earth. And Burne-Jones pleaded for the prefix because
it was like holy writ: it gave everybody an opportunity to read
anything into it that he desired.
Of this I am very sure, in the Preraphaelite Brotherhood there was
no lack of appreciation for Raphael. In fact, there is proof
positive that Burne-Jones and Madox Brown studied him with profit,
and loved him so wisely and well that they laid impression-paper on
his poses. This would have been good and sufficient reason for
hating the man; and possibly this accounts for their luminous
flashes of silence concerning him. The Preraphaelite Brotherhood,
like all other liberal organizations, was quite inclined to be
illiberal. And the prejudice of this clanship, avowedly founded
without prejudice, lay in the assumption that life and art suffered
a degeneration from the rise of Raphael. In art, as in literature,
there is overmuch tilting with names--so the Preraphaelites enlisted
under the banner of Botticelli.
Raphael marks an epoch. He did what no man before him had ever done,
and by the sublimity of his genius placed the world forever under
obligations to him. In fact, the art of the Preraphaelites was built
on Raphael, with an attempt to revive the atmosphere and environment
that belonged to another. Raphael mirrored the soul of things--he
used the human form and the whole natural world as symbols of
spirit. And this is exactly what Burne-Jones did, and the rest of
the Brotherhood tried to do. The thought of Raphael and of Burne-
Jones often seems identical; in temperament, disposition and
aspiration they were one. That poetic and fervid statement of Mrs.
Jameson, that Burne-Jones is the avatar of Raphael, contains the
germ of truth. The dream-women of Burne-Jones have the same haunting
and subtle spiritual wistfulness that is to be seen in the Madonnas
of Raphael. Each of these men loved a woman--and each pictured her
again and again. Whether this woman had an existence outside the
figment of the brain matters not: both painted her as they saw her--
tender, gentle and trustful.
When jealous and o'erzealous competitors made the charge against
Raphael that he was lax in his religious duties, Pope Leo the Tenth
waived the matter by saying, "Well, well, well!--he is an artistic
Christian!" As much as to say, he works his religion up into art,
and therefore we grant him absolution for failure to attend mass: he
paints and you pray--it is really all the same thing. Good work and
religion are one.
The busy and captious critics went away, but came back next day with
the startling information that Raphael's pictures were more Pagan
than Christian. Pope Leo heard the charge, and then with Lincoln-
like wit said that Raphael was doing this on his order, as the
desire of the Mother Church was to annex the Pagan art-world, in
order to Christianize it.
The charges of Paganism and Infidelity are classic accusations. The
gentle Burne-Jones was stoutly denounced by his enemies as a Pagan
Greek. I think he rather gloried in the contumely, but fifty years
earlier he might have been visited by a "lettre de cachet," instead
of a knighthood; for we can not forget how, in Eighteen Hundred
Fifteen, Parliament refused to pay for the Elgin Marbles because, as
Lord Falmouth put it, "These relics will tend to prostitute England
to the depth of unbelief that engulfed Pagan Greece." The attitude
of Parliament on the question of Paganism finds voice occasionally
even yet by Protestant England making darkness dense with the
asseveration that Catholics idolatrously worship the pictures and
statues in their churches.
The Romans tumbled the Athenian marbles from their pedestals, on the
assumption that the statues represented gods that were idolatrously
worshiped by the Greeks. And they continued their work of
destruction until a certain Roman general (who surely was from
County Cork) stopped the vandalism by issuing an order, coupled with
the dire threat that any soldier who stole or destroyed a statue
should replace it with another equally good.
Lord Elgin bankrupted himself in order to supply the British Museum
its crowning glory, and for this he achieved the honor of getting
himself poetically damned by Lord Byron. Monarchies, like republics,
are ungrateful. Lord Elgin defended himself vigorously against the
charge of Paganism, just as Raphael had done three hundred years
before. But Burne-Jones was silent in the presence of his accusers,
for the world of buyers besieged his doors with bank-notes in hand,
demanding pictures. And now today we find Alma-Tadema openly and
avowedly Pagan, and with a grace and loveliness that compel the glad
acclaim of every lover of beautiful things.
We are making head. We have ceased to believe that Paganism is
"bad." All the men and women who have ever lived and loved and hoped
and died, were God's children, and we are no more. With the nations
dead and turned to dust, we reach out through the darkness of
forgotten days and touch friendly hands. Some of these people that
existed two, three or four thousand years ago did things so
marvelously grand and great that in presence of the broken fragments
of their work we stand silent, o'erawed and abashed. We realize,
too, that long before the nations lived that have left a meager and
scattered history hewn in stone, lived still other men, possibly
greater far than we; and no sign or signal comes to us from those
whose history, like ours, is writ in water.
Yet we are one with them all. The same Power that brought them upon
this stage of Time brought us. As we were called into existence
without our consent, so are we being sent out of it, day by day,
against our will. The destiny of all who live or have lived, is one;
and no taunt of "paganism," "heathenism" or "infidelity" escapes our
lips. With love and sympathy, we salute the eternity that lies
behind, realizing that we ourselves are the oldest people that have
tasted existence--the newest nation lingers away behind Assyria and
Egypt, back of the Mayas, lost in continents sunken in shoreless
seas that hold their secrets inviolate. Yes, we are brothers to all
that have trod the earth; brothers and heirs to dust and shade--
mayhap to immortality!
In the story of "John Ball," William Morris pictured what to him was
the Ideal Life. And Morris was certainly right in this: The Ideal
Life is only the normal or natural life as we shall some day know
it. The scene of Morris' story was essentially a Preraphaelite one.
It was the great virtue (or limitation) of William Morris that the
Dark Ages were to him a time of special light and illumination. Life
then was simple. Men worked for the love of it, and if they wanted
things they made them. "Every trade exclusively followed means a
deformity," says Ruskin. Division of labor had not yet come, and men
were skilled in many ways. There was neither poverty nor riches, and
the idea of brotherhood was firmly fixed in the minds of men. The
feverish desire for place, pelf and power was not upon them. The
rise of the barons and an entailed aristocracy were yet to come.
Governments grant men immunity from danger on payment of a tax. Thus
men cease protecting themselves, and so in the course of time lose
the ability to protect themselves, because the faculty of courage
has atrophied through disuse. Brooding apprehension and crouching
fear are the properties of civilized men--men who are protected by
the State. The joy of reveling in life is not possible in cities.
Bolts and bars, locks and keys, soldiers and police, and a hundred
other symbols of distrust, suspicion and hate, are on every hand,
reminding us that man is the enemy of man, and must be protected
from his brothers. Protection and slavery are near of kin.
Before Raphael, art was not a profession--the man did things to the
glory of God. When he painted a picture of the Holy Family, his wife
served as his model, and he grouped his children in their proper
order, and made the picture to hang on a certain spot on the walls
of his village church. No payment was expected nor fee demanded--it
was a love-offering. It was not until ecclesiastics grew ambitious
and asked for more pictures that bargains were struck. Did ever a
painter of that far-off day marry a maid, and in time were they
blessed with a babe, then straightway the painter worked his joy up
into art by painting the Mother and Child, and presenting the
picture as a thank-offering to God. The immaculate conception of
love and the miracle of birth are recurring themes in the symphony
of life. Love, religion and art have ever walked and ever will walk
hand in hand. Art is the expression of man's joy in his work; and
art is the beautiful way of doing things. Pope Julius was right--
work is religion when you put your soul into your task.
Giotto painted the "Mother and Child," and the mother was his wife,
and the child theirs. Another child came to them, and Giotto painted
another picture, calling the older boy Saint John, and the wee baby
Jesus. The years went by and we find still another picture of the
Holy Family by this same artist, in which five children are shown,
while back in the shadow is the artist himself, posed as Joseph. And
with a beautiful contempt for anachronism, the elder children are
called Isaiah, Ezekiel and Elijah. This fusing of work, love and
religion gives us a glimpse into the only paradise mortals know. It
is the Ideal--and the Natural.
The swift-passing years have lightly touched the little city of
Urbino, in Umbria. The place is sleepy and quiet, and you seek the
shade of friendly awnings to shield you from the fierce glare of the
sun. Standing there you hear the bells chime the hours, as they have
done for four hundred years; and you watch the flocks of wheeling
pigeons, the same pigeons that Vasari saw when he came here in
Fifteen Hundred Forty-one, for the birds never grow old. Vasari
tells of the pigeons, the old cathedral--old even then--the flower-
girls and fruit-sellers, the passing black-robed priests, the
occasional soldier, and the cobbler who sits on the curbstone and
offers to mend your shoes while you wait.
The world is debtor to Vasari. He was not much of a painter and he
failed at architecture, but he made up for lack of skill by telling
all about what others were doing; and if his facts ever faltered,
his imagination bridged the break. He is as interesting as Plutarch,
as gossipy as Pepys, and as luring as Boswell.
A slim slip of a girl, selling thyme and mignonette out of a reed
basket, offered to show Vasari the birthplace of Raphael; and a
brown-cheeked, barefoot boy, selling roses on which the dew yet
lingered, volunteered a like service for me, three hundred years
The house is one of a long row of low stone structures, with the
red-tile roof everywhere to be seen. Above the door is a bronze
tablet which informs the traveler that Raphael Sanzio was born here,
April Sixth, Fourteen Hundred Eighty-three. Herman Grimm takes three
chapters to prove that Raphael was not born in this house, and that
nothing is so unreliable as a bronze tablet, except figures. Grimm
is a painstaking biographer, but he fails to distinguish between
fact and truth. Of this we are sure, Giovanni di Sanzio, the father
of Raphael, lived in this house. There are church records to show
that here other children of Giovanni were born, and this very
naturally led to the assumption that Raphael was born here, also.
Just one thing of touching interest is to be seen in this house, and
that is a picture of a Mother and Child painted on the wall. For
many years this picture was said to be the work of Raphael; but
there is now very good reason to believe it was the work of
Raphael's father, and that the figures represent the baby Raphael
and his mother. The picture is faded and dim, like the history of
this sainted woman who gave to earth one of the gentlest, greatest
and best men that ever lived. Mystery enshrouds the early days of
Raphael. There is no record of his birth. His father we know was a
man of decided power, and might yet rank as a great artist, had he
not been so unfortunate as to have had a son that outclassed him.
But now Giovanni Sanzio's only claim to fame rests on his being the
father of his son. Of the boy's mother we have only obstructed
glances and glimpses through half-flung lattices in the gloaming.
Raphael was her only child. She was scarce twenty when she bore him.
In a sonnet written to her, on the back of a painting, Raphael's
father speaks of her wondrous eyes, slender neck, and the form too
frail for earth's rough buffets. Mention is also made of "this child
born in purest love, and sent by God to comfort and caress."
The mother grew aweary and passed away when her boy was scarce eight
years old, but his memories of her were deeply etched. She told him
of Cimabue, Giotto, Ghirlandajo, Leonardo and Perugino, and
especially of the last two, who were living and working only a few
miles away. It was this spiritual and loving mother who infused into
his soul the desire to do and to become. That hunger for harmony
which marked his life was the heritage of mother to child.
When an artist paints a portrait, he paints two--himself and the
sitter. Raphael gave himself; and as his father more than once said
the boy was the image of his mother, we have her picture, too.
Father and son painted the same woman. Their hearts went out to her
with a sort of idolatrous love. The sonnets indited to her by her
husband were written after her death, and after his second marriage.
Do then men love dead women better than they do the living? Perhaps.
And then a certain writer has said: "To have known a great and
exalted love, and have had it flee from your grasp--flee as a shadow
before it is sullied by selfishness or misunderstanding--is the
highest good. The memory of such a love can not die from out the
heart. It affords a ballast 'gainst all the sordid impulses of life,
and though it gives an unutterable sadness, it imparts an
Raphael's father followed the boy's mother when the lad was eleven
years old. We know the tender, poetic love this father had for the
child, and we realize somewhat of the mystical mingling in the man's
heart of the love for the woman dead and her child alive.
Reverencing the mother's wish that the boy should be an artist,
Giovanni Sanzio, proud of his delicate and spiritual beauty, took
the lad to visit all the other artists in the vicinity. They also
visited the ducal palace, built by Federigo the Second, and lingered
there for hours, viewing the paintings, statuary, carvings,
tapestries and panelings.
The palace still stands, and is yet one of the most noble in Italy,
vying in picturesqueness with those marble piles that line the Grand
Canal at Venice. We know that Giovanni Sanzio contributed by his
advice and skill to the wealth of beauty in the palace, and we know
that he was always a welcome visitor there. From his boyhood Raphael
was familiar with these artistic splendors, and how much this early
environment contributed to his correct taste and habit of subdued
elegance, no man can say. When Giovanni Sanzio realized that death
was at his door, he gave Raphael into the keeping of the priest
Bartolomeo and the boy's stepmother. The typical stepmother lives,
moves and has her being in neurotic novels written by very young
Instances can be cited of great men who were loved and nurtured and
ministered to by their stepmothers. I think well of womankind. The
woman who abuses a waif that Fate has sent into her care would
mistreat her own children, and is a living libel on her sex.
Let Lincoln and Raphael stand as types of men who were loved with
infinite tenderness by stepmothers. And then we must not forget
Leonardo da Vinci, who never knew a mother, and had no business to
have a father, but who held averages good with four successive
stepmothers, all of whom loved him with a tender, jealous and proud
Bartolomeo, following the wish of the father, continued to give the
boy lessons in drawing and sketching. This Bartolomeo must not be
confused with the Bartolomeo, friend of Savonarola, who was largely
to influence Raphael later on. It was Bartolomeo, the priest, that
took Raphael to Perugino, who lived in Perugia. Perugino, although
he was a comparatively young man, was bigger than the town in which
he lived. His own name got blown away by a high wind, and he was
plain Perugino--as if there was only one man in Perugia, and he were
that one. "Here is a boy I have brought you as a pupil," said the
priest to Perugino. And Perugino glancing up from his easel
answered, "I thought it was a girl!"
The priest continued, "Here is a boy I have brought you for a pupil,
and your chief claim to fame may yet be that he worked here with you
in your studio." Perugino parried the thrust with a smile. He looked
at the boy and was impressed with his beauty. Perugino afterwards
acknowledged that the only reason he took him was because he thought
he would work in well as a model.
Perugino was the greatest master of technique of his time. He had
life, and life in abundance. He reveled in his work, and his
enthusiasm ran over, inundating all those who were near. Courage is
a matter of the red corpuscle. It is oxygen that makes every attack;
without oxygen in his blood to back him, a man attacks nothing--not
even a pie, much less a blank canvas. Perugino was a success; he had
orders ahead; he matched his talent against titles; power flowed his
way. Raphael's serious, sober manner and spiritual beauty appealed
to him. They became as father and son. The methodical business plan,
which is a prime aid to inspiration; the habit of laying out work
and completing it; the high estimate of self; the supreme animation
and belief in the divinity within--all these Raphael caught from
Perugino. Both men were egotists, as are all men who do things. They
had heard the voice--they had had a "call." The talent is the call,
and if a man fails to do his work in a masterly way, make sure he
has mistaken a lazy wish for a divine passion. There is a difference
between loving the muse and lusting after her.
Perugino had been called, and before Raphael had worked with him a
year, he was sure he had been called, too. The days in Perugia for
Raphael were full of quiet joy and growing power. He was in the
actual living world of men, and things, and useful work. Afternoons,
when the sun's shadows began to lengthen towards the east, Perugino
would often call to his helpers, especially Raphael, and
Pinturicchio, another fine spirit, and off they would go for a
tramp, each with a stout staff and the inevitable portfolio. Out
along the narrow streets of the town, across the Roman arched
bridge, by the market-place to the terraced hillside that overlooked
the Umbrian plain, they went; Perugino stout, strong, smooth-faced,
with dark, swarthy features; Pinturicchio with downy beard, merry
eyes and tall, able form; and lingering behind, came Raphael. His
small black cap fitted closely on his long bronze-gold hair; his
slight, slender and graceful figure barely suggested its silken
strength held in fine reserve--and all the time the great brown
eyes, which looked as if they had seen celestial things, scanned the
sky, saw the tall cedars of Lebanon, the flocks on the slopes across
the valley, the scattered stone cottages, the fleecy clouds that
faintly flecked the deep blue of the sky, the distant spire of a
church. All these treasures of the Umbrian landscape were his. Well
might he have anticipated, four hundred years before he was born,
that greatest of American writers, and said, "I own the landscape!"
In frescos signed by Perugino in the year Fourteen Hundred Ninety-
two--a date we can not forget--we see a certain style. In the same
design duplicated in Fourteen Hundred Ninety-eight, we behold a new
and subtle touch--it is the stroke and line of Raphael.
The "Resurrection" by Perugino, in the Vatican, and the "Diotalevi
Madonna" signed by the same artist, in the Berlin Museum, show the
touch of Raphael, unmistakably. The youth was barely seventeen, but
he was putting himself into Perugino's work--and Perugino was glad.
Raphael's first independent work was probably done when he was
nineteen, and was for the Citta di Castello. These frescos are
signed, "Raphael Urbinas, 1502." Other lesser pictures and panels
thus signed are found dated Fifteen Hundred Four. They are all the
designs of Perugino, but worked out with the painstaking care always
shown by very young artists; yet there is a subtle, spiritual style
that marks, unmistakably, Raphael's Perugino period.
The "Sposalizio," done in Fifteen Hundred Four, now in the Brera at
Milan, is the first really important work of Raphael. Next to this
is the "Connestabile Madonna," which was painted at Perugia and
remained there until Eighteen Hundred Seventy-one, when it was sold
by a degenerate descendant of the original owner to the Emperor of
Russia for sixty-five thousand dollars. Since then a law has been
passed forbidding any one on serious penalty to remove a "Raphael"
from Italy. But for this law, that threat of a Chicago syndicate to
buy the Pitti Gallery and move its contents to the "lake front"
might have been carried out.
The Second Period of Raphael's life opens with his visit to Florence
in Fifteen Hundred Four. He was now twenty-one years of age,
handsome, proud, reserved. Stories of his power had preceded him,
and the fact that for six years he had worked with Perugino and been
his confidant and friend made his welcome sure.
Leonardo and Michelangelo were at the height of their fame, and no
doubt they stimulated the ambition of Raphael more than he ever
admitted. He considered Leonardo the more finished artist of the
two. Michelangelo's heroic strength and sweep of power failed to win
him. The frescos of Masaccio in the Church of Santa Carmine in
Florence he considered better than any performance of Michelangelo:
and as a Roland to this Oliver, we have a legend to the effect that
Raphael once called upon Michelangelo and the master sent down word
from the scaffold, where he was at work, that he was too busy to see
visitors, and anyway, he had all the apprentices that he could look
How much this little incident biased Raphael's opinion concerning
Michelangelo's art we can not say: possibly Raphael could not have
told, either. But such things count, I am told, for even Doctor
Johnson thought better of Reynolds' work after they had dined
It seems that Fra Bartolomeo was one of the first and best friends
Raphael had at Florence. The monk's gentle spirit and his modest
views of men and things won the young Umbrian; and between these two
there sprang up a friendship so firm and true that death alone could
The deep religious devotion of Bartolomeo set the key for the first
work done by Raphael at Florence. Most of the time the young man and
the monk lived and worked in the same studio. It was a wonderfully
prolific period for Raphael; from Fifteen Hundred Four to Fifteen
Hundred Eight he pushed forward with a zest and an earnestness he
never again quite equaled. Most of his beautiful Madonnas belong to
this period, and in them all are a dignity, grace and grandeur that
lift them out of ecclesiastic art, and place them in the category of
Before this, Raphael belonged to the Umbrian School, but now his
work must be classed, if classed at all, as Florentine. The handling
is freer, the nude more in evidence, and the anatomy shows that the
artist is working from life.
Bartolomeo used to speak of Raphael affectionately as "my son," and
called the attention of Bramante, the architect, to his work. The
beauty of his Madonnas was being discussed in every studio, and when
the "Ansidei" was exhibited in the Church of Santa Croce, such a
crowd flocked to see the picture that services had to be dismissed.
The rush continued until a thrifty priest bethought him to stand at
the main entrance with a contribution-box and a stout stick, and
allow no one to enter who did not contribute good silver for "the
Bartolomeo acknowledged that his "pupil" was beyond him. He was
invited to add a finishing touch to the Masaccio frescos; Leonardo,
the courtly, had smiled a gracious recognition, and Michelangelo had
sneezed at mention of his name. Bramante, back at Rome, told Pope
Julius the Second, "There is a young Umbrian at Florence we must
Great things were happening at Rome about this time: all roads led
thitherward. Pope Julius had just laid the cornerstone of Saint
Peter's, and full of ambition was carrying out the dictum of Pope
Nicholas the Fifth, that "the Church should array herself in all the
beauteous spoils of the world, in order to win the minds of men."
The Renaissance was fairly begun, fostered and sustained by the
Church alone. The Quattrocento--that time of homely peace and the
simple quiet of John Ball and his fellows--lay behind.
Raphael had begun his Roman Period, which was to round out his
working life of barely eighteen years, ere the rest of the Pantheon
was to be his.
Before this his time had been his own, but now the Church was his
mistress. But it was a great honor that had come to him, greater far
than had ever before been bestowed on any living artist. Barely
twenty-five years of age, the Pope treated him as an equal, and
worked him like a packhorse. "He has the face of an angel," cried
Julius, "and the soul of a god!"--when some one suggested his youth.
Pope Leo the Tenth, of the Medici family, succeeded Julius. He sent
Michelangelo to Florence to employ his talents upon the Medicean
church of San Lorenzo. He dismissed Perugino, Pinturicchio and Piero
Delia Francesca, although Raphael in tears pleaded for them all.
Their frescos were destroyed, and Raphael was told to go ahead and
make the Vatican what it should be.
His first large work was to decorate the Hall of the Signatures
(Stanza della Segnatura), where we today see the "Dispute." Near at
hand is the famous "School of Athens." In this picture his own
famous portrait is to be seen with that of Perugino. The first place
is given to Perugino, and the faces affectionately side by side are
posed in a way that has given a cue to ten thousand photographers.
The attitude is especially valuable, as a bit of history showing
Raphael's sterling attachment to his old teacher. The Vatican is
filled with the work of Raphael, and aside from the galleries to
which the general public is admitted, studies and frescos are to be
seen in many rooms that are closed unless, say, Archbishop Ireland
be with you, when all doors fly open at your touch. The seven
Raphael tapestries are shown at the Vatican an hour each day; the
rest of the time the room is closed to protect them from the light.
However, the original cartoons at South Kensington reveal the sweep
and scope of Raphael's genius better than the tapestries themselves.
Work, unceasing work, filled his days. The ingenuity and industry of
the man were marvelous. Upwards of eighty portraits were painted
during the Roman Period, besides designs innumerable for engravings,
and even for silver and iron ornaments required by the Church.
Pupils helped him much, of course, and among these must be mentioned
Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni. These young men lived with
Raphael in his splendid house that stood halfway between Saint
Peter's and the Castle Angelo. Fire swept the space a hundred years
later, and the magnificence it once knew has never been replaced.
Today, hovels built from stone quarried from the ruins mark the
spot. But as one follows this white, dusty road, it is well to
remember that the feet of Raphael, passing and repassing, have, more
than any other one street of Rome, made it sacred soil.
We have seen that Bramante brought Raphael to Rome, and Pope Leo the
Tenth remembered this when the first architect of Saint Peter's
passed away. Raphael was appointed his successor. The honor was
merited, but the place should have gone to one not already
overworked. In Fifteen Hundred Fifteen Raphael was made Director of
Excavations, another office for which his esthetic and delicate
nature was not fitted. In sympathy, of course, his heart went out to
the antique workers of the ancient world, on whose ruins the Eternal
City is built; but the drudgery of overseeing and superintendence
belonged to another type of man.
The stress of the times had told on Raphael; he was thirty-five,
rich beyond all Umbrian dreams of avarice, on an equality with the
greatest and noblest men of his time, honored above all other living
artists. But life began to pall; he had won all--and thereby had
learned the worthlessness of what the world has to offer. Dreams of
rest, of love and a quiet country home, came to him. He was
betrothed to Maria di Bibbiena, a niece of Cardinal Bibbiena. The
day of the wedding had been set, and the Pope was to perform the
But the Pope regarded Raphael as a servant of the Church: he had
work for him to do, and moreover he had fixed ideas concerning the
glamour of sentimentalism, so he requested that the wedding be
postponed for a space.
A request from the Pope was an order, and so the country house was
packed away with other dreams that were to come true all in God's
But the realization of love's dream did not come true, for Raphael
had a rival. Death claimed his bride.
She was buried in the Pantheon, where within a year Raphael's
wornout body was placed beside hers; and there the dust of both
The history of this love-tragedy has never been written; it lies
buried there with the lovers. But a contemporary said that the fear
of an enforced separation broke the young woman's heart; and this we
know, that after her death, Raphael's hand forgot its cunning, and
his frame was ripe for the fever that was so soon to burn out the
strands of his life.
Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino and Fra Bartolomeo had all
made names for themselves before Raphael appeared upon the scene.
Yet they one and all profited by his example, and were the richer in
that he had lived.
Michelangelo was born nine years before Raphael and survived him
Titian was six years old when Raphael was born, and he continued to
live and work for fifty-six years after Raphael had passed away.
It was a cause of grief to Michelangelo, even to the day of his
death, that he and Raphael had not been close, personal and loving
friends, as indeed they should have been.
The art-world was big enough for both. Yet Rome was divided into two
hostile camps: those who favored Raphael; and those who had but one
prophet, Michelangelo. Busybodies rushed back and forth, carrying
foolish and inconsequential messages; and these strong yet gentle
men, both hungering for sympathy and love, were thrust apart.
When Raphael realized the end was nigh, he sent for Perugino, and
directed that he should complete certain work. His career had begun
by working with Perugino, and now this friend of a lifetime must
finish the broken task and make good the whole. He bade his beloved
pupils, one by one, farewell; signed his will, which gave most of
his valuable property to his fellow-workers; and commended his soul
to the God who gave it. He died on his birthday, Good Friday, April
Sixth, Fifteen Hundred Twenty, aged thirty-seven years. Michelangelo
wore mourning upon his sleeve for a year after Raphael's death. And
once Michelangelo said, "Raphael was a child, a beautiful child, and
if he had only lived a little longer, he and I would have grasped
hands as men and worked together as brothers."