Artibus et Historiae no. 59 (XXX)

2009, ISSN 0391-9064

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KIM E. BUTLER - Giovanni Santi, Raphael, and Quattrocento Sculpture

This essay addresses the renewed controversy regarding Raphael Santi's initial training and introduces substantive evidence in support of the hypothesis that he received his first training from his father Giovanni Santi in Urbino. In addition to documentary and formal evidence, the young artist's strong attachment to his father's artistic practice on a more conceptional level is explored. Interests, including the use of geometric compositional formulas, witty devotional concetti, and above all his intense preoccupation with returning to the specific sources that engaged Giovanni Santi — for instance Quattrocento sculpture, first known through his father's inexact copies and subsequently through direct study of the sculptures themselves — illuminate the formal and intellectual foundations of Raphael's art.

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