Urbino Italy the birth place of Raphael.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days don’t come, nor those years come close to you when you will say, I have no pleasure in them… (the rest of this is interesting but I will leave it here)

Ecclesiastes 12: 1…
Urbino is a university city known for its turreted 15th century Palazzo Ducalo. The university was established in 1506 and it was teaming with young people the time we spent there.
Certainly not on bicycles but walking as the streets are so awfully steep. It is famous as the birth place of Raphael.
A view of him in the trees at the top of a street named after him.
His house is on this steepest of streets.
A well kept statue.
Raphael in his painters garb, paint brush in hand catching the light on his cheeks. Born 1483 in Urbino and died at the age of 37 in 1520 in Rome. He is quoted as saying ” When one is painting one does not think.”

On his street we entered a house of good proportions, his father, Giovanni Santi was a court painter and well established. It is believed that he and his son worked on a fresco in the house. Mary is said to look like the wife of Santi the mother of Raphael, who died when he was 8 years old. This fresco has great significance as Raphael was left an orphan by age 11.

I appreciated this man’s presence photographing something so ancient.
(It was interesting to feel a tremor in the floor as one walked on them. They looked solid but must be on wooden beams. The glass cabinets also shuddered.)
Raphael’s work is admired for three of these things:
it’s clarity of form,
ease of composition, (I feel this painting has those two)
visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur.
The last I did not understand. Google helped me with this.

“Neoplotonic means: A philosophical system developed at Alexandria in the 3rd century AD by Plotinus and his successors. It is based on Platonism with elements of mysticism and some Judaic and Christian concepts and posits a single source from which all existence eminates and with which an individual soul can mystically be united.”

Raphael never married but one of his long standing woman friends in his life was, Magherita Luti, a baker’s daughter born 1493 and died 1522. A very beautiful woman . His model.

Look at some of the lovely women’s faces I saw in the paintings. These were mostly reproductions of Raphael’s or Santi’s work.
By 17 Raphael was a fully trained artist and became an assistant in an established workshop.
By 25 the Pope had asked him to come to Rome and paint the most important rooms in the Vatican. Raphael was known for his charm and was soon leading a large workshop of painters. The other artist Michael Angelo
was working on the Sisteen Chapel ceiling at this time 1508-1512 .

Raphael died on his birthday. Why he died at 37 is not clear. Here are some reasons people give: pneumonia, pulmonary disease, and exhaustion from overwork. I guess the last could lead to the others. He died young but listen to what he once said:

“Time is a vindictive bandit to steal the beauty of our former selves. We are left with sagging, rippled flesh and burning gums with empty sockets.”

Here are some street photographs look at the groups of young people.

Thick heavy shadows.
Cool places on hot days from mighty buildings of brick.
No need for the tightly folded umbrella the day is neither hot nor cold but the young people are in autumnal clothes some well coordinated.
Students sitting on warm steps.
(Roy and I spent many hours talking while sitting on steps between classes, after class, sometimes in the evening.
A warm comfortable place in sunny countries.)
Eating ice cream as sunlight squeezes itself out of the city between the buildings.
Some couples but mostly groups of young men together and then groups of young women together. Friends, classmates.
Then spot Bugsy if you can ?
Such a long way down from a city wall.
Urbino, built on a hill with hills inside.

A student town is so special wherever it is in the world. Thank you for looking at this post.

Sandy 🙂🙂

10 thoughts on “Urbino Italy the birth place of Raphael.

  1. Looks like you’re enjoying Italy. Lovely post. Just a pity you didn’t do the rest of that verse in “Sandy’s understanding”. 😊


  2. This would definitely be a place for me to visit! I love art history and getting to see where one of the masters lived and worked would be amazing. You post was a treat for me, and I so enjoyed seeing the photos. I saw Bugsy too.


  3. Thank you for doing such a fantastic job of describing all these wonderful things. I love the detail of feeling the floors tremor and the cabinets shutter. The Virgin Mary and the Sleeping Child painting is simply stunning.


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