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Famous Artists in Modern America: Raphael

3/25/14

Raffello Sanzio da Urbino

I thought I would start this blog series with one of my favorite Renaissance artists, Raphael. Raphael was highly talented, well connected, dabbled in and excelled at any craft he undertook, and had a reputation for being a master of many styles.

Though he didn't grow up completely rich and spoiled the kid did get a Camaro for his 16th birthday. Raph (Raphael) didn't think anything of his upper-middle class position in life, to him the beauty and joy of life and experiencing new things was more important. He was a delinquent in school but excelled at any class he took interest in. Often he would get in trouble for getting girls to play hooky from school with him.

Raph worked as a Director of Architecture in his dad's (Giovanni) firm. Giovanni Architecture is a high end architect firm with a niche market that includes some of the most prominent businesses in New York City. Though his dad wanted Raph to take more interest in the company and move into Business Management position, Raph enjoyed his life of art and adventure too much. A management job might have put an end to his party life.

Did I mention Raph was a partier? Let's just say he was no stranger to glow sticks and loud dub-step music. Though he was more of a fan of classical jazz and real music, he would often be found where ever the loose young girls were. His therapist blamed it on the early death of his mother. Raph always claimed it was his sheer lust for life and love.

Raph lived in a huge studio apartment in Brooklyn where he would often have extravagant art parties with some of the best food and musicians around. On occasion, when he would grow tired of the enormity of his life, he would pay visit to his friend and fellow artist, Leo. Leo was a little older and a hard worker who often thought Raph squandered his time and skill, but admired Raph's life perspective. The two inspired each other, though many of their friends said Raph often copied Leo's style.

During an annual company dinner a friend of Giovanni introduced Raph to his daughter, Maria. Though she was pretty and well placed, Raph was hesitant. Settling down was not his style and he could tell this girl had every intention to tame him, though she never did. They had an on and mostly off relationship for six year, for most of which Raph was seeing several girls on the side, especially Luti. Luti worked at the local bakery that her dad owned. Social pressures always prevented Raph's and Luti's relationship from becoming more substantial, after all, he was expected to marry Maria.

After a wild weekend with Luti in the Florida Keys, Raph returned home not feeling well. He went to the doctor who diagnosed him as being dehydrated and malnourished. Raph joked that "it was a rough weekend in bed", but what he and the doctor didn't realize, is that he actually caught a rare bacterial infection. Any treatment the doctor gave didn't seem to help as his condition continued to worsen. He passed away at the young age of 37, though not without leaving a massive catalog of some of the best artwork of the century. He had a grand funeral that was said to close down 10 city block in his hometown of Brooklyn.